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First Strike and First Day of Issue extra submission opportunities

I have exchanged a number of emails and phone calls with customer service to ensure that I have all of the information correct as this is exciting news that there are more opportunities than you might believe to get a First Strike or First Day of Issue (FS or FDOI) label! One of my primary inquiries was to see if it was possible to get PCGS's First Strike policy and procedures document. This document is referenced in the FAQ; however, customer service has assured me that their only policy and procedure document is the website itself (https://www.pcgs.com/firststrike) despite references to policies and procedures and "specific rules and regulations." As a result I had to ask several questions to customer service.

https://www.pcgs.com/faq

https://www.pcgs.com/firststrike defines FS as:

The PCGS First Strike program designates coins issued in the first 30* days of the Mint's release. This designation not only adds value to modern coins, but takes modern coin collecting to another level with multiple Mint releases each year.

*In rare cases, coins issued more than 30 days before submission can receive First Strike designation.

For this discussion I will ignore the option where you can submit a sealed US mint box after the 30 day deadline and the "rare cases" possibility as those exceptions are understood and not important to the topic as this is not a "rare case" or referring to a sealed box submission after the 30 day window.

From the FAQ:

Beginning in 2005, PCGS began designating coins packaged and delivered by the U.S. Mint in the 30-day period following the initial sales date of a new product as First Strike. PCGS has very specific rules and regulations for First Strike submissions. Please review the First Strike requirements prior to submission.

Until recently, I had believed that at the very first availability to the public of a new mint issue there was 30 days on the clock to submit to PCGS. After that, you were SOL. However, this is not true!

There are several coins that are released by the mint in multiple times in different packaging and offerings throughout the year. Some examples:

  • Silver and clad proof quarter sets are typically released before they are available in the annual silver and clad proof sets.
  • Quarter and 50c rolls and bags are usually released before they are available in annual uncirculated coin sets.
  • Other examples might be birthday sets or congratulations sets or holiday sets.


I have now verified that there are at least TWO first strike submission windows for the half dollar as I personally submitted some from rolls a few months ago and I bought a FDOI 2022-P & D 50c from a presale listing on ebay in which I confirmed that the coin originated from the annual unc set released Jul 12. See ebay listing 165532843578 (which has removed the presale information now that they are in hand) but trust me, it used to be a pre-sale. I can post screenshots if anyone doubts this.

If you buy a clad 2022-S PCGS proof first strike quarter today, despite the content on the PCGS website, it is not possible to know if that quarter was purchased and delivered from the mint before April 8, the first 30-day window. In this case, submitters actually had 60 days to get a first strike version of any of the quarters. I did verify though that for the second 30-day window, coins must be submitted in original mint packaging and must be from the set corresponding to the submission window.

Similarly, there is no need to search bags and rolls as I have done in the past to ensure a first strike label. You can wait until the unc sets come out roughly 67 days later (for 2022) and if you are a bulk submitter, you can get a First Day of Issue label on a coin that is actually delivered in the unc set ~67 after the coin was first available from the mint in rolls and bags.

Note that there are no set designations or different PCGS coin numbers to set the coins apart for each submission window. If you buy one of these, there is no way to determine whether the coin originated in the unc set or in a bags/rolls, although I do believe that they did not offer FDOI for the bags/rolls coins.

This was news to me and I thought you all would like to know. I believe this has been the case for at least the past few years. It's just frustrating that PCGS has not communicated this to us because I wouldn't have submitted the coins from rolls, I would have waited for the unc sets which tend to have higher quality coins. :/ Hopefully this info helps someone for my first post.

Another topic I brought up was the lack of transparency around other designations such as First Day of Issue, Early Issue, and Advanced Release. They gave me information on what these mean, but when I asked why the definition and information on these is secret (ie, not published anywhere), the response was that these designations are only attainable by bulk submitters and thus the information is not important for the public and it would only confuse people. My response to this was that it certainly is important because all of these coins get sold to the public and the public wants to know what they are buying. I would think the submitters would want to be able to point to an official resource when trying to sell items with these designations. The designations can only add meaning, value, and importance if the public knows and understands the specific details about these now-prevalent designations. It boggles my mind that PCGS does not recognize its pivotal role in the industry and openly informing the industry as to what its own designations and markings mean and that they can really help the markets for their coins by providing this information. IMO of course.

Comments

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    ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had always wondered. Good info, thanks for the post!

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    MetroDMetroD Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 9, 2022 5:30AM

    @FirstStrikeCollector

    Excellent first post. Thank you.

    Welcome. :)

    Edited to Add:
    ~ On the "crossover", the crossover webpage differs from the FAQs.

    Source: https://www.pcgs.com/crossover
    ~ Also, do not forget about 'Mint Direct Premier' from APMEX.
    If sealed, these items remain eligible for the FS designation indefinitely.

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    ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Crickets? Thought more people would be interested in this.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FirstStrikeCollector... Welcome aboard. Excellent first post. Although these designations are not important to me/my collection, I do see your point and understand how it affects other collectors and, to some degree, the market. Cheers, RickO

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    MetroDMetroD Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭✭✭

    On the 2022 Kennedy Halfs:
    ~ I cannot find any designated "UNC Set" in the current 'Pop Report';
    ~ I can find active PCGS coin numbers specific to the "UNC Set'.

    Source: https://www.pcgs.com/pcgsnolookup/kennedy-half-dollar-1964-date/125

    On the 2022 Women Quarters:
    ~ I cannot find any designated "UNC Set" in the current 'Pop Report';
    ~ I can find active PCGS coin numbers specific to the "UNC Set'.

    Source: https://www.pcgs.com/pcgsnolookup/american-women-quarters-2022-2025/203668
    Note - I only imaged Angelou over space concerns; it is the same for the other four releases.

    My Point - in 2022, it is possible for PCGS to distinguish between the 'bag/roll' releases and the "UNC Set" for the Kennedy Halfs and the Women Quarters via PCGS coin number.

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    Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2022 9:59AM

    @FirstStrikeCollector - thanks for posting, this is helpful. One point I’d like to clarify is which NGC designations will cross to PCGS. I confirmed with PCGS customer service in an email that “First Week of Discovery” will cross for the 2019-2020 W quarters. However, when I submitted, PCGS contacted me and said they will not cross this designation. They asked if I wanted to cross without it, I said no and the coin was returned to me. Unfortunately I wasted money on the submission based on bad information upfront.

    I agree there is a lack of clarity around the nuance of the designations and rules - it would be great if they were all published.

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    ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MetroD said:
    My Point - in 2022, it is possible for PCGS to distinguish between the 'bag/roll' releases and the "UNC Set" for the Kennedy Halfs and the Women Quarters via PCGS coin number.

    It's always been possible. But clearly they are offering the designation but not requiring it.
    In my mind, if you're going to have FS, it should only be for the first 30 days of coin availability. The mint putting it out in a different package doesn't change anything as far as a collector should be concerned. I can somewhat see if they wanted to distinguish a First Strike period for each unique package the coin is offered, at least that's somewhat maintaining the integrity of the system. But if the US Mint decides to offer a Merry Christmas 2022 Unc and Proof set in November providing yet another opportunity to add to FS and FDOI populations, that makes the designation utterly meaningless.

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    MetroDMetroD Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2022 11:55AM

    @ProofCollection said:
    [...] The mint putting it out in a different package doesn't change anything as far as a collector should be concerned. [...]

    I feel the same way. That said, people are free to collect whatever they want, even labels with unique set designations.

    @ProofCollection said:
    [...] I can somewhat see if they wanted to distinguish a First Strike period for each unique package the coin is offered, at least that's somewhat maintaining the integrity of the system. [...]

    Agreed. And that appears to be their approach, at least for the 2022 Halfs and Quarters.

    @ProofCollection said:
    [...] But if the US Mint decides to offer a Merry Christmas 2022 Unc and Proof set in November providing yet another opportunity to add to FS and FDOI populations, that makes the designation utterly meaningless.

    As I understand it, the theoretical 'Merry X-Mas 2022 Set' would need to be submitted sealed in order to qualify for any 'FS/FDOI' designation, and it would receive a unique PCGS 'coin number/set designation', which would distinguish it from earlier releases.

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,942 ✭✭✭✭✭

    OK ...................

    All glory is fleeting.
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    ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,401 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 11, 2022 1:19PM

    @MetroD said:
    Agreed. And that appears to be their approach, at least for the 2022 Halfs and Quarters.

    It's not their approach. If you buy a 2022 FS proof quarter or clad half, because they aren't putting the set designation on unless specified/requested, the coin you get could be from either of two different mint offerings. Is that a big deal? Not really, but it kind of is if I'm paying a premium for the label I would think I should get some certainty around when it was issued.

    I watch the ebay listings pretty carefully. After the first set comes out you see a few coins appear right away. Then when the full annual sets come out, like they just did, you see a surge of new listings on ebay. All with the same coins numbers and no set designations.

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    MetroDMetroD Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ProofCollection said:

    @MetroD said:
    Agreed. And that appears to be their approach, at least for the 2022 Halfs and Quarters.

    It's not their approach. If you buy a 2022 FS proof quarter or clad half, because they aren't putting the set designation on unless specified/requested, the coin you get could be from either of two different mint offerings. Is that a big deal? Not really, but it kind of is if I'm paying a premium for the label I would think I should get some certainty around when it was issued.

    I watch the ebay listings pretty carefully. After the first set comes out you see a few coins appear right away. Then when the full annual sets come out, like they just did, you see a surge of new listings on ebay. All with the same coins numbers and no set designations.

    Just noticed some 2022 'Kennedy Half Dollars' designated "UNC Set First Strike" in the 'Pop Report' (i.e., 907508 and 907509).

    Source


    Source

    Ditto on the 2022 P & D 'Women Quarters' (e.g., 907491 and 907492).

    My Point - For the 2022 Halfs and Quarters, PCGS appears to be distinguishing between the FS "windows" for the different packaging options via coin number.

    Consider the 2022-D 'Kennedy Half Dollar' (base coin #904105).

    It was released in 'bag/roll' form on 5-MAY, and has a FS cut-off of 6-JUN. To qualify for the 'First Strike' designation (coin #904106), you would have had to submit raw coins prior to 6-JUN, or a sealed 'bag/roll' box with a qualifying date.

    The same coin was released on 12-JUL as part of the "UNC Coin Set". To qualify for the 'UNC Set First Strike' designation (coin #907509), you would have to submit a sealed "UNC Set" box with a qualifying date.

    Given the different coin numbers (and designations), it is possible to differentiate between FS coins from the two releases.

    Disclaimer - I am not, repeat NOT, saying that this has been the case in prior years. Just pointing out that PCGS seems to have addressed this concern on the 2022 Halfs and Quarters.

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    @MetroD said:

    Given the different coin numbers (and designations), it is possible to differentiate between FS coins from the two releases.

    It's possible to differentiate ONLY IF the submitter chose the coin numbers with the set designation. A "generic" First Strike coin could be from either source. And only because I know this (it's not published anywhere), we know that all FDOIs come from the Unc set because they didn't do FDOI for the bags/rolls.

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    MetroDMetroD Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FirstStrikeCollector said:
    It's possible to differentiate ONLY IF the submitter chose the coin numbers with the set designation. A "generic" First Strike coin could be from either source. And only because I know this (it's not published anywhere), we know that all FDOIs come from the Unc set because they didn't do FDOI for the bags/rolls.

    Interesting. This appears to be the 'root cause' of my 'disconnect'.

    I assumed that if you submitted a sealed "UNC Set" (with a qualifying date) that you would automatically receive the "UNC Set First Strike" designation. Your post suggests that the submitter has a choice of 'designation/coin #', and that my assumption is incorrect. The situation, as described, would definitely conflate the FS designations from the different releases.

    Thanks for taking the time to post. My apologies to you, and @ProofCollection for being so slow on the uptake.

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