Planchet flaws are suspected as the reason why none of the coins from
the two-coin 50th Anniversary Kennedy 2014 Half-Dollar
Uncirculated Coin set have been graded Specimen 70 by the three
major grading services.
Submission figures released by Professional Coin Grading Service, Numismatic Guaranty
Corp., and ANACS indicate the highest grade assigned for the
2014-D or 2014-P Kennedy half dollar in the set is Specimen 69, with
the lowest submission grading Specimen 63.
All three grading services are employing Specimen grades rather than
Mint State grades since the coins are struck under special
circumstances for special sets.
United States Mint
officials were asked about the unusual occurrence — in recent years,
the quality of Mint production has resulted in numerous MS-70 and
Proof 70 pieces being found among the Mint’s collector products.
Officials had not provided a response from the Mint’s technical team
as of Nov. 19.
The two-coin Kennedy copper-nickel clad sets are still available at
$9.95 each directly from the Mint. The Mint has imposed a product
limit of 200,000, with 148,928 sets reported sold by Nov. 16.
The two-coin Kennedy half dollar sets first went on sale from the
United States Mint on Aug. 5.
Kennedy’s portrait that appears on the obverse of the half dollars
in the two-coin set is the original high-relief portrait Chief
Engraver Gilroy Roberts executed for the Kennedy half dollar in 1964.
ANACS Senior Numismatist J.P. Martin said that while the dies used
to strike the half dollars in the set appear to have been specially
handled, resulting in strong strikes, he believes the problem is with
the planchets used at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints for production.
Martin said it is likely the Mint used circulation-strike planchets,
which usually have a higher concentration of contact marks and other
blemishes that aren’t smoothed out during striking.
“The coins are coming from some pretty nice finish dies,” Martin
said. “They’re just not treating the blanks like a special issue.”
Martin said he doesn’t believe the Mint is using the coinage press
tonnage that they use for a Proof issue and that might “strike out”
the planchet imperfections.
Paul DeFelice, vice president of marketing and client relations for
ANACS, said Nov. 13 that the grading service is predominantly
certifying like-graded two-coin sets.
“We are mostly certifying them in like-graded sets with a requested
minimum grade,” said DeFelice. “About 5,000 sets in SP-69, 300 sets in
SP-68 have been encapsulated. We have received thousands of other sets
that have not met the minimum grade as a set, so they have not been encapsulated.
“Other submitters, not requesting minimum grades, have generally
received grades in SP-68 or SP-69, but we have certified examples as
low as SP-64.”
PCGS by the numbers
As of Nov. 17, Professional Coin Grading Service had graded 2,135 of
the 2014-P Kennedy half dollars from the two-coin set and 2,458 of the
2014-D half dollars.
From the 2,135 2014-P half dollars certified, 91 graded SP-69; 533
graded SP-68; 1,008 were graded SP-67 and 30 graded SP-67+; 415 were
graded SP-66 and 13 graded SP-66+; 35 were graded SP-65 and three,
SP-65+; six were graded SP-64; and one was graded SP-63.
From the 2,458 of the 2014-D half dollars certified from the
two-coin sets, 52 graded SP-69; 368 graded SP-68; 1,228 graded SP-67
and 14 at SP-67+; 724 graded SP-66 and 21 at SP-66+; 46 graded SP-65;
and four graded SP-64.
On the Collectors’ Universe U.S. Coins Forum, dealers and collectors
alike shared the results of submitting coins from their two-coin sets
Miles Standish, PCGS vice president and senior grader, said many of
the two-coin sets PCGS received for grading came in “pretty rough.”
While a number of the coins in the sets were graded Specimen 68 and
Specimen 69, Standish said collectors did not expect coins to be
graded Specimen 67 down to Specimen 63.
“These were probably not thought to be a big part of the program for
the Mint, like the silver and gold coins,” Standish said, noting not
as much effort went into their production.
“It was an inexpensive way for collectors to obtain a 50th
Anniversary set for those who wanted to collect them.”
Max Spiegel, vice president of sales and marketing for Certified
Collectibles Group, the parent firm to Numismatic Guaranty Corp., said
the quality of the two 50th Anniversary copper-nickel clad half
dollars in the Uncirculated set is lower than that of the Proof gold
1964–2014-W Kennedy half dollar or the .900 fine silver half dollars
in the four-coin 50th Anniversary Kennedy 2014 Half-Dollar Silver Coin Collection.
“We have seen numerous marks and planchets issues on the clads, all
of which affect the grade,” Spiegel said.
As of Nov. 13, NGC recorded grading 5,049 of the 2014-P 50th
Anniversary half dollars and 5,054 of the 2014-D coins.
Of the 2014-P coins, 48 graded SP-69; 627 graded SP-68; 2,961 graded
SP-67; 1,327 graded SP-66; 82 graded SP-65; three graded SP-64; and
one graded SP-63.
From the 2014-D census, 23 graded SP-69; 569 graded SP-68; 2,962
graded SP-67; 1,409 graded SP-66; 85 graded SP-65; four graded SP-64;
and two graded SP-64.
Auction website eBay has recorded recent sales of NGC Specimen 67
coins from the sets selling for $65, with individual Specimen 69 coins
selling for $100 or more.
Sales of two-coin sets graded NGC Specimen 69 have sold for $250 and
more. Some matched ANACS Specimen 69 sets have been offered for as
high as $599 per set.
NGC Specimen 67 Early Release 2014-P and similarly graded 2014-D
coins are being retailed for as low as $35 each.
Two-piece PCGS Specimen 67 sets have sold for as low as $65.
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