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1964 SMS nickel

ERingusERingus Posts: 128 ✭✭✭
edited August 19, 2022 12:34PM in U.S. Coin Forum

The pictures definitely doesn’t do this coin any justice.


Comments

  • SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,708 ✭✭✭✭✭

    ?????

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks like an ordinary nickel. Chances it's an SMS are basically 0%, at best.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,933 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I see an ultra-common date nickel that is worth a nickel. Why would you ever think that is an SMS coin?

    All glory is fleeting.
  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As mentioned, your nickel is from Denver and the SMS coins were from Philadelphia. Also, your nickel shares nothing in common with the SMS strikes

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,845 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My standard response to these threads:

    Any coin that you may have that seems to be a 1964 SMS coin is not. It will never be one. Why?

    All 1964 SMS coins are in collector hands, slabbed or something of that equivalent. The ONLY way to obtain a 1964 SMS coin is to buy one already labeled as such. Any person who claims that you can indeed find one is lying. All such 1964 coins were coins struck off of new dies and were saved by Eva Adams, the mint director. As such, they display full details of the new die and the satin surfaces to go along with it.

    This was a common mint practice, it is coincidental that we only have the 1964 coins able to collect. The Smithsonian also received coins of the same quality from the 1950s - 1970s, all of which were fresh strikes from new dies and they are nearly identical in all ways to these 1964 SMS coins. They were identical to new circulation coins from new dies, in that they had the die polish and satin surfaces of new dies and the full details of a new die. This alone resulted in a distinctive appearance.

    There were a few dozen sets all sold at Eva Adam’s estate sale and all of the coins that are labeled 1964 come from that sale and have heavy documentation from it. We know that ALL of the 1964 SMS coins are discovered because we know which coins came from that sale. All of those coins sold were taken and slabbed or put into collections with heavy documentation where the owners knew exactly what they had. None were released into circulation.

    It is likely that the mint continued to use the dies after these SMS coins were made, but once those coins were released into circulation, they became as ordinary as any other coin. The only thing that makes a SMS coin what it is was that it was carefully preserved from the moment it left the dies and never saw circulation. The Eva Adam’s provenance is what makes a SMS coin what it is.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here we go again...the second (not) SMS coin of the day.

    It's NOT an SMS coin. If you think it is, send it to PCGS along with your invitation to Eva Adam's birthday party and you should be good.

  • BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 7,408 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The same thing was done in 1927 when chromium plated dies were scheduled to be produced for 1928 Nickel coinage.

    Chief engraver John Sinnock had Specimen 1927 Nickels struck to test the new die formulation.

    They ended up in his private collection and were discovered after he passed away.

    The 1964 SMS coins were produced for the same reason. None were released, as has been stated previously.

    Pete

    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon
  • Jzyskowski1Jzyskowski1 Posts: 6,651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not a chance. Sorry 😉🙀🦫

    🎶 shout shout, let it all out 🎶

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl said: The Eva Adam’s provenance is what makes a SMS coin what it is.

    Since there is no way to trace the coins and establish a Provenance prior to the presumed early 1990's sale of them at Stack's it is impossible to state anything with certainty, including that these mysterious coins came from the estate of Eva Adams. To my knowledge, all that is known is that the coins originated from the Stack's sale which included the estate of Lester Merkin. I have read conflicting accounts which do/don't state definitively that Merkin was the consignor. How he acquired the coins, when and who from is unknown, everything is speculation.

    The only certainty I believe is known about these coins is that they originated at a Stack's sale. Below is a quote from an old Numimatic News article.
    These coins emerged onto the market as part of five-piece SMS sets sold by Stack’s in various auctions throughout the early 1990s. The very first set appeared in Stack’s sale of June 1991, and additional sets were sold through 1995. These were offered by Stack’s from the estate of dealer Lester Merkin, but they can likely be traced back to Eva Adams, director of the United States Mint from October 1961 through August 1969.

  • BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 7,408 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Maywood said:
    @FlyingAl said: The Eva Adam’s provenance is what makes a SMS coin what it is.

    Since there is no way to trace the coins and establish a Provenance prior to the presumed early 1990's sale of them at Stack's it is impossible to state anything with certainty, including that these mysterious coins came from the estate of Eva Adams. To my knowledge, all that is known is that the coins originated from the Stack's sale which included the estate of Lester Merkin. I have read conflicting accounts which do/don't state definitively that Merkin was the consignor. How he acquired the coins, when and who from is unknown, everything is speculation.

    The only certainty I believe is known about these coins is that they originated at a Stack's sale. Below is a quote from an old Numimatic News article.
    These coins emerged onto the market as part of five-piece SMS sets sold by Stack’s in various auctions throughout the early 1990s. The very first set appeared in Stack’s sale of June 1991, and additional sets were sold through 1995. These were offered by Stack’s from the estate of dealer Lester Merkin, but they can likely be traced back to Eva Adams, director of the United States Mint from October 1961 through August 1969.

    Good information. Thanks for posting it.

    Pete

    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon
  • BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 7,408 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ERingus said:
    The pictures definitely done do this coin any justice.


    Don't feel bad. It's all about learning.

    Pete

    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon
  • privatecoinprivatecoin Posts: 3,178 ✭✭✭✭✭

    5.7 cents melt value.

    Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value. Zero. Voltaire. Ebay coinbowlllc

  • FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,845 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Maywood said:
    @FlyingAl said: The Eva Adam’s provenance is what makes a SMS coin what it is.

    Since there is no way to trace the coins and establish a Provenance prior to the presumed early 1990's sale of them at Stack's it is impossible to state anything with certainty, including that these mysterious coins came from the estate of Eva Adams. To my knowledge, all that is known is that the coins originated from the Stack's sale which included the estate of Lester Merkin. I have read conflicting accounts which do/don't state definitively that Merkin was the consignor. How he acquired the coins, when and who from is unknown, everything is speculation.

    The only certainty I believe is known about these coins is that they originated at a Stack's sale. Below is a quote from an old Numimatic News article.
    These coins emerged onto the market as part of five-piece SMS sets sold by Stack’s in various auctions throughout the early 1990s. The very first set appeared in Stack’s sale of June 1991, and additional sets were sold through 1995. These were offered by Stack’s from the estate of dealer Lester Merkin, but they can likely be traced back to Eva Adams, director of the United States Mint from October 1961 through August 1969.

    My old comment was poofed when I tried to edit for spelling. Merkin was the purchaser of most, if not all, of the coins from the Adams estate. It has been widely stated this is the origin of the "SMS" coins of 1964, and I have found a Heritage sale that backs this statement up positively (they say the coins come from Merkin's acquisition of the Adams coins) if we are using auction descriptions as references. I can post that here if need be.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

  • robecrobec Posts: 6,599 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just having the D mint mark is enough to see this isn’t a 1964 SMS coin since none were from Denver.

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Please post any links you can provide which have definitive proof that the coins came from Eva Adams through Lester Merkin. I'm ready to believe the story, but nothing I have seen has been conclusive and most read like the following from PCGS:

    There are many different theories on why the 1964 SMS coins were produced. These coins could have been produced as prototypes for the 1965 to 1967 SMS coins. The 1964 SMS coins could have also been produced as introductory pieces, possibly even intended to include a 1964-D Peace dollar. Furthermore, it is believed these SMS coins came into existence somehow through the involvement of Eva Adams, U.S. Mint Director at the time. After Eva Adams passed away, her estate was sold off and well-recognized dealer and auctioneer Lester Merkin is believed to have bought many of the coins from her estate. Lester Merkin's collection would then be sold in a Stack's auction in the early 1990s, including some, if not all, of the known 1964 SMS coins.

    This is a 30 year old enduring mystery because no records were kept, though I should probably say none have yet to be found. That is what the Mint at that time wanted, mystery to thwart collectors that they saw as responsible for a coin shortage. I ask myself how it is that the Director of the Mint and everyone involved kept no records?? How is it that a cataloguer, by nature attentive to details, kept no records??

  • FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,845 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Maywood

    Here is an excerpt from a Heritage auction of a 1964 "SMS" cent: "We know that the 20 to 50 coins extant (no one really knows how many were made) were acquired by Lester Merkin from the estate of former Mint Director Eva Adams and first offered publicly in 1993."

    A much older description of a dime states "In Kevin Flynn's book The Authoritative Reference on Roosevelt Dimes, he states that several 1964 Special Mint Sets were found as part of Eva Adams' estate. What we have been told is that these sets turned up in a Stack's auction in 1993 and were part of a prominent New York dealer's estate. Of course, both stories could be true."

    For what it's worth, you are right. There's no way to know for certain unless someone who was at the Adam's estate auction verified the story, unless you believe the verification above. What does matter, however, is that the coins came from the 1990s sale, where the sets were all together. Whether or not the coins really trace to Eva Adams is irrelevant so long as they can be traced to a sale where the coins were together. No matter what, no 1964 "SMS" coin will ever be found in the wild, at least not one that the TPGs are likely to certify.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

  • TreashuntTreashunt Posts: 6,747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "The pictures definitely done do this coin any justice."

    Huh?

    Frank

    BHNC #203

  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,012 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Treashunt said:
    "The pictures definitely done do this coin any justice."

    Huh?

    “done “ = “don’t”.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • Che_GrapesChe_Grapes Posts: 1,851 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You would think if a true SMS 64 nickel it would at least have full steps!!

  • Joe_360Joe_360 Posts: 1,603 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice 1964, thanks for sharing the photo.

  • PhillyJoePhillyJoe Posts: 2,686 ✭✭✭✭

    The short story is that 20 years ago, I researched the National Archives in Philadelphia records group 104 and Roger Burdette had done the same in Washington DC. for documentation on SMS coins. We both came to the conclusion that there is none. I then suggested to Roger that maybe the answer could be found in the Ms. Adams’ personal papers that she donated to her alma mater university of Nevada Reno, I believe. He had already had those examined and there was nothing pertinent there.

    The Philadelphia Mint: making coins since 1792. We make money by making money. Now in our 225th year thanks to no competition. image
  • jeffas1974jeffas1974 Posts: 308 ✭✭✭

    @BuffaloIronTail said:

    @ERingus said:
    The pictures definitely done do this coin any justice.


    Don't feel bad. It's all about learning.

    Pete

    I didn't know what a 1964 SMS nickel was until reading this thread and going to google. Always good to learn something new.

  • ERingusERingus Posts: 128 ✭✭✭

    I apologize for the typo, and the original comment didn’t say “doesn’t” for the grammar police that I’m sure have never posted a comment similar to mine with an accidental misspelled word! Due to the limited service in the area I am in while on vacation and not having the greatest service, I was not aware that my comment was misspelled (I speak and write very well, so the word was intended to be “doesn’t for the ones that felt it necessary to belittle me as if I were speaking phonically). So we have coin experts that knew exactly what they were doing from the first time they ever touched a coin and never had to ask questions, correct? I mean with the way some of you felt compelled to be rude and extremely negative instead of trying to explain something, as a person that was once in the same shoes I am now, it’s no wonder people have lost interest in this amazingly beautiful hobby. If it’s that hard to be a teacher and guide someone to a better understanding of this hobby than maybe you shouldn’t answer when people such as myself didn’t know the facts and got a little excited because of how nice this coin looks and different from other 1964 coins I’ve seen this far. It took you five minutes to type a negative comment to my post and it would have taken you one second to scroll past it. Instead of encouraging newbies such as myself with positive advice you discourage me with insults and negativity. I think that’s unfair and you should all be ashamed of yourselves for how you treat others. It is a form of bullying and that should never be acceptable on any level. To everyone that have been helpful and willing to teach me or allow me to look it up and come back with whether I still believe my first comment are facts or did I learn something new, THANK YOU! You are the ones that still love this hobby and want to make sure everyone around you do as well!

  • jeffas1974jeffas1974 Posts: 308 ✭✭✭

    If I could make a humble suggestion for the forum that the creation of a FAQ section for less knowledgeable people such as myself would maybe cut down these types of exchanges going forward. I think it might potentially save the time of folks on both the inexperienced side to keep them from posting "Is my coin valuable or is my trinary $1 bill worth a lot?" type threads and also those on the experienced side that appear to be responding largely out of frustration.

    Just trying to come up with a solution that is helpful to all involved and makes the forum a more enjoyable place.

    Thanks and have a good weekend.

  • Eighteen63Eighteen63 Posts: 124 ✭✭✭✭

    We are supposed to guide you yet, did you do a modicum of research? Here is a link on ALL threads on this forum which mention 1964 SMS Jefferson nickels. Step up, take responsibility and stop pointing fingers at others for not doing your legwork. I’ve narrowed it down to alleged ‘64 SMS Jeffersons only so you’re not overwhelmed by search results.

    https://forums.collectors.com/search?adv=1&search=1964+SMS+Nickel&title=&author=&cat=26&subcats=1&tags=&discussion_idea=1&discussion_discussion=1&comment_comment=1&discussion_poll=1&discussion_question=1&comment_answer=1&within=1+day&date=

    On the contrary, Google is not your friend.

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