US Coins

Market Analysis: The importance of a coin’s strike

This 1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar lacks full definition at Liberty’s head, and the MS-64 CAC-approved issue brought $24,000 this summer.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Especially with Mint State coins, or coins approaching an Uncirculated grade, strike is an important component in a coin’s grade. Striking pressure impresses a coin’s details during the minting process and stronger strikes mean sharper details.

The sharpness of the die should also be considered, based on the design, wear on the die, or on the master die from which the working die is made via a hub, while the quality of the planchet can also impact strike.

The first-year-of-issue 1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar is notorious for incomplete definition on Liberty’s head and collectors pay a premium for one with a full head designation. The featured 1916 quarter dollar, graded Mint State 64 by Professional Coin Grading Service and bearing a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker, sold for $24,000 on July 14 in Heritage’s Florida United Numismatists summer convention auction. Heritage explained, “Liberty’s head lacks full definition, although soft obverse detail is the norm for this issue due to the inadequate engraving of the obverse die.”

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