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/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.