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SMS Nickels and Dimes.

cladkingcladking Posts: 28,328 ✭✭✭✭✭

There is a perception that these '65 to '67 Special Mint Set coins come very well struck making FS and FB coins extremely common.

They do come well struck from good dies in most instances but FS and FB is not common on any of them. They vary between about .5% and 2% of production but some of the coins often have cuts on the steps and bands making them much more difficult than is expected. The '67 nickel (IMS) is one of the more common ones but is often damaged on the steps.

I believe if collectors started seeking these coins the services would add the designation.

Beyond just the dimes and nickels these sets have a very wide array of appearances. Many different techniques were used at several stages of production before they began settling on a standard format. But different types exist in every date and some are very very different.

Despite being the oldest moderns they still constitute terra incognito.

Tempus fugit.

Comments

  • SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,702 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As part of my participation in the hobby I have spent time collecting 1965-1967 SMS coinage since the hobby big bit me as an adult in 1998.

    After spending time collecting in this niche area I can confirm the accuracy of Cladking's last two paragraphs in his opening post. SMS coinage covers a wide spectrum (of various textures/appearances that range from very ugly to stunningly beautiful).

    It would be quite an endeavor to hunt for, acquire, catalogue, organize and assemble a set of examples [run of the mill that can not be distinguished from circulation strikes, brilliant proof like, matte, satin, Cameo, toned, untoned, etc.] of each of the 15 separate coins that comprise 1965 - 1967 SMS coinage. If that was ever done the examples of these coins would make a great Exhibit at a coin show. One could even expand the Exhibit by adding examples of the 1964 SMS coinage.

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,828 ✭✭✭✭✭

    instead of CAM/DCAM ? or in addition too?

  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,328 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @davewesen said:
    instead of CAM/DCAM ? or in addition too?

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. It is so noticeable because it is above the surface and many people like the appearance of proof coins especially cameo. But there are many coins that ae far more interesting and much less noticeable. One of the most dramatically different coins is a "common" '66 quarter, scarce '67 quarter and probably rare '67 half dollar made by poorly hubbed dies. They aren't all that attractive but they have a creamy texture and are often almost mark free. about the cleanest coin I've ever seen is a '66 quarter with this effect but they are all quite clean. These don't come with cameo. there are a few coins that appear to be struck twice and fully detailed. Even though these may technically be proofs they don't appear as cameo either. There are different textures. The cameos stand out a lot but don't vary much in other ways.

    I don't understand how some of the Cameos can be so rare. The one cent coins especially. Why aren't there more slightly cameos and almost D/CAMS? You'd almost think it wore off almost immediately.

    I think they were doing a lot of experimenting and planning to use the same techniques to make mint set coins even after proofs were resumed. Indeed, it appears they did exactly this but speed became more important. In many ways the '68 mint set is more similar to a '67 SMS than it is to a '64 mint sets. And you aren't going to find many FB or FS dimes and nickels in them.

    Tempus fugit.
  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭✭✭



  • ShamikaShamika Posts: 18,760 ✭✭✭✭

    Sheesh! That 1966 Jefferson doesn't even have ONE full step step.

    Good thread by the way.

    Buyer and seller of vintage coin boards!
  • FrazFraz Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cladking said:

    One of the most dramatically different coins is a "common" '66 quarter, scarce '67 quarter and probably >rare '67 half dollar made by poorly hubbed dies. They aren't all that attractive but they have a creamy >texture and are often almost mark free. about the cleanest coin I've ever seen is a '66 quarter with this >effect but they are all quite clean. These don't come with cameo.

    I picked this fifteen minutes before I read the post. This 1966 appears to be the coin you describe. I played with light and attitude. Let me know if the collage is too much, or too little.

  • SnapsSnaps Posts: 187 ✭✭✭✭

    I have a 1965 SMS dime graded by NGC as MS66FT. NGC used to grade SMS coins with the designator. When you look up the cert number the coin comes up, but, basically, NGC won't claim it. I don't have a pic available, but, here is a link to the coin at NGC.

    https://ngccoin.com/certlookup/3336174-044/66/

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Fraz ... What is that green spot below the ear on the first '66 quarter?? Cheers, RickO

  • FrazFraz Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 19, 2023 6:41AM

    @ricko — the photos are of one quarter. It’s an iridescent reflection from the two different lights that I was playing with. The photos are not straight on. I shot the coin from slight, oblique angles to demonstrate the sublime colors. It is as @cladking describes.
    After examination of a googol of beat up clad, the color of this coin, for lack of word, gave me a warm feeling.
    My impression of the color when I first looked, was a creamy, translucent, peachy hue.
    The quarter has a frigging wheel scratch at nine o’clock. Otherwise it is clean. I have some of these that I have put away.
    The coincidence compelled me to post.

    Edit: grammar

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Fraz .... Thanks for the reply... That green spot sure looked real, but good to hear it is lighting induced. I think you nailed it on being as @cladking described. Cheers, RickO

  • olympicsosolympicsos Posts: 693 ✭✭✭✭

    @Fraz said:

    @cladking said:

    One of the most dramatically different coins is a "common" '66 quarter, scarce '67 quarter and probably >rare '67 half dollar made by poorly hubbed dies. They aren't all that attractive but they have a creamy >texture and are often almost mark free. about the cleanest coin I've ever seen is a '66 quarter with this >effect but they are all quite clean. These don't come with cameo.

    I picked this fifteen minutes before I read the post. This 1966 appears to be the coin you describe. I played with light and attitude. Let me know if the collage is too much, or too little.

    The way these coins come off is why collectors at the time were willing to let these coins go. They lack the same detail and boldness of the earlier silver coins. Hard to find nice early clad even if technically mint state.

  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,328 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @olympicsos said:

    The way these coins come off is why collectors at the time were willing to let these coins go. They lack the same detail and boldness of the earlier silver coins. Hard to find nice early clad even if technically mint state.

    I often say that the mint and FED successfully stopped coin collectors from being interested in clad with all the new rules, laws, and procedures instituted but the awful quality was a major deterrent. It was bad enough we believed every quarter for evermore was going to be dated 1965 with no mint mark but then we had to contend with the fact that quality was abysmal. When they relented and struck 1966 coins the quality got even worse!!! Most 1966 quarters technically passed from BU to AG when they got a luster break because the letters on one side or the other were already "worn" into the rim.

    Add in the boring coins and it's a wonder anyone collected them. I didn't start until '72 and was one of the first! The coins were just starting to get very interesting about this time. By the '80's they were just fascinating and I had the field almost to myself. Unfortunately today so many of the older clads are so chewed up it's hard to put together an attractive set from circulation. I suppose it's been almost 60 years now and they were only designed to last for 30 so we got our money's worth. Of course the newer coins are getting chewed up as well by some unknown process in handling.

    They made very few Gems and most just got into circulation along with all the garbage. Now days most of them are gone forever and the "Gems" that survive are in cull VG. There are lots of Gems in the SMS's but many are tarnished. It's pretty tough to find Gem non-SMS coins for these years.

    Tempus fugit.
  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,328 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Fraz said:

    I picked this fifteen minutes before I read the post. This 1966 appears to be the coin you describe. I played with light and attitude. Let me know if the collage is too much, or too little.

    I'm sorry, I can't tell for sure from the pictures. I believe normal lighting I could.

    The "special" quarter almost looks like the bust is larger because it blends into the field and is lower relief.

    I don't think that's it. There are several different textures and appearances on these though none are as "shiny" as the special one.

    Tempus fugit.
  • Che_GrapesChe_Grapes Posts: 1,851 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They made a 1964 SMS set but it was junk - if you come across it just toss it …
    (kidding - that’s the one you really want!!)

  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,328 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Snaps said:
    I have a 1965 SMS dime graded by NGC as MS66FT. NGC used to grade SMS coins with the designator. When you look up the cert number the coin comes up, but, basically, NGC won't claim it. I don't have a pic available, but, here is a link to the coin at NGC.

    https://ngccoin.com/certlookup/3336174-044/66/

    Cool!

    It's almost like owning a very rare coin. There could be dozens graded by now if they didn't stop grading them though.

    I'm finding even the "common" clad dimes in FB to be rather elusive. The most common I've found yet is only about 5% of mint set production so I'm setting them aside. None of the SMS's even approach being so common. I was even more surprised to see how few FS coins because I always looked for these to cherry. Under magnification though many were incomplete or had hits.

    While the SMS's are badly overlooked the FB's and FS's are almost gimmees since you can actually find some. Rarer coins are more fun to find but if you can't find any then you lose some of the enjoyment of looking.

    Tempus fugit.
  • CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have been searching the 1965-67 SMS sets for cameos for decades. Pretty tough to find. In my experience, the Kennedys are the easiest to find in cam/dcam, likely due to the silver content. Nickels are second, with dimes, quarters, and cents the hardest. I am also surprised that the cents are so tough given that copper is so soft.
    It would be interesting to analyze the pop reports.

    Here are a few of my pieces for your inspection.




    SMS 67 Dcam dime

    SMS 66 Dcam quarter

    1966 SMS 67 Dcam half

    1967 Half from the Birthmark Die

    “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭✭✭

  • Mr Lindy Mr Lindy Posts: 982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not cameo, just a SMS flat pack error. Unique from what I have observed:

    SMS 1965 10c on SMS 25c planchet

  • Mr Lindy Mr Lindy Posts: 982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What ? No cameo:

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