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Proof/Silver/Unc/Bus Coins Mintage Locations / Definitions

 
 
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 Posted 01/03/2012  12:57 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CelticKnot to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Ok, I've been looking around Google and CCF for so long on this topic now that I'm getting confused. I'm trying to wrap my brain around the various mints, what they produce (both currently and historically) and how to discern variants in coin searching.

Here's my understanding for current releases:


  • Business Strike: produced at Philadelphia or Denver (and sometimes San Fran for older coins). The stuff you get back after paying for coffee and donuts with a sawbuck. Probably 99.9% (or more) of what's in circulation.

  • Uncirculated: Also produced at Philly and Denver using different equipment/methods to produce higher-quality coins. Intended for collectors and have a different finish than business strike.

  • Proof: minted using a different process from business strike and UNC and only minted at San Francisco. Also intended only for collectors and uses special minting equipment/methods/planchets.

  • Silver Proof: Like proof, minted only at San Fran, using 90% silver for silver-colored coins. All others are just regular proof strikes. Definitely intended for collectors.



Is this accurate? My reason for bringing this up is that I'm wondering if I'm missing anything when going through rolls. I've been following the above logic that anything with an S MM later than mid-70's is a proof coin. I guess it would be nice to have a matrix for each modern coin, its year, its major varieties/versions/MM's (and how to distinguish). I know there is the Red Book but it doesn't list UNC, just P, D, S, and S Silver. I hear that many people break up mint sets so these guys have to be floating around somewhere.

That matrix has to exist somewhere, right? Would be very helpful because I know that some of my above bullets (if correct) don't apply as we go back in time.
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 Posted 01/03/2012  01:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SteveCaruso to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You have it about right, except Uncirculateds don't always have a different finish than business strike.

The point of a proof was, historically, to test the official design out and have a example series for posterity, but today it's to show off the design of the coin (hence the mirror finish with frosting on the devices) and sell to collectors.

The Matrix matrix that you're after is actually here on CCF (well, most of it). Click on "US Coin Facts" under US coins & Currency on the left.
Edited by SteveCaruso
01/03/2012 01:17 am
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 Posted 01/03/2012  03:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As I understand it 'Business strikes' are what are put into circulation. The coins come out of the press at a great of knots, and drop onto a pile. They are batched as bulk lots for issue into circulation. This is where coins from this source get their 'bag marks' from. Coins that come fresh from the Mint display nicks and scratches on them even before they enter circulation. These coins are issued at face value into circulation.

'Uncirculated' coins are made for collectors are packaged for presentation and preservation. They are struck from the same quality of dies used for the business strikes, but are extracted from the press manually, so they are not damaged in any way. These coins are sold pre packaged for their preservation, at a premium price by the Mint.

I will leave it to others to explain 'proofs' and 'silver proofs'.
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 Posted 01/03/2012  10:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CelticKnot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, SteveCaruso. There is a lot of good info in that matrix. Perhaps it would be just too unwieldy to add data for all the different kinds of finishes... or perhaps it's just never been gathered or no one cares. For a "completist" collector (such as myself), it seems like for a full set of coins, one would want one of each distinct coin. At the very least it would be handy to be able to differentiate.

So, did I answer my own question? Are all current (standard coin) proofs San-Fran-minted? I realize other proof coins are minted at West Point. I think the answer there is 'yes'.

Were proofs for modern coins (say 1909+) minted at other mints?

What about, for instance, a 1972-S cent I just came across tonight. How would I differentiate between business and proof, especially for a coin that has been passed around for up to 40 years?

Thanks guys.
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 Posted 01/06/2012  12:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JSH to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Were proofs for modern coins (say 1909+) minted at other mints?


Yes. Take the 1938 nickel as an example. It was minted in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. All of the proof coins were minted in Philly.

I believe 1970 is that year proof coins started to be exclusively minted in San Francisco. Prior to that date proof coins were minted at other mints.

I doubt you can tell whether your 1972-S cent is a proof or business strike. That year San Francisco minted 376,939,108 business strikes and 3,260,996 proof strikes.
Edited by JSH
01/06/2012 12:58 am
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 Posted 01/06/2012  01:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add amida17 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
doubt you can tell whether your 1972-S cent is a proof or business strike.


I disagree. Even an impaired 1972 proof would lok vastly different than a 1972s business strike.
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 Posted 01/06/2012  01:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Every single coin which leaves any mint is "Uncirculated." Until it circulates. Coins marketed as "Uncirculated" are Business Strikes which (although perhaps handled more carefully) are no different than the coins in your pocket.
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 Posted 01/06/2012  01:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add captainkurt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's worth mentioning that from 2005 - 2010 the mint sets contained special satin finish coins. For a "completist" collector such as myself I needed the mint uncirculated sets, uncirculated business strikes, silver proofs, and proof sets for those years.
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 Posted 01/06/2012  02:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CelticKnot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
amida17:


Quote:
I disagree. Even an impaired 1972 proof would lok vastly different than a 1972s business strike.


Would you be able to post some example pics, amida17? Thanks!


@SuperDave:


Quote:
Every single coin which leaves any mint is "Uncirculated." Until it circulates. Coins marketed as "Uncirculated" are Business Strikes which (although perhaps handled more carefully) are no different than the coins in your pocket.


Absolutely. I realize that "uncirculated" is a description of the state of the coin while "proof" is a description of its manufacturing process.

My goal for this vague topic was really to be able to build an understanding of how to distinguish between any of the strikes that I might find in circulation, whether they be business strike, proof, silver proof, the special recent "UNC" business strikes with the special finish or whatever. This only because we know that these coins that aren't intended for circulation make themselves into circulation anyway one way or another.

For instance, this is what I understand for the 2011 releases:

2011 Cents:
Denver: 1 business strike, 1 UNC coin
Philly: 1 business strike, 1 UNC coin
San Fran: 1 proof

Now, are the UNC cents from D/P the same as the business strikes or do they have a special finish and are therefore distinct?

Or am I just picking nits? I've been known to do so on occasion....

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 Posted 01/06/2012  02:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CelticKnot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@captainkurt


Quote:
It's worth mentioning that from 2005 - 2010 the mint sets contained special satin finish coins. For a "completist" collector such as myself I needed the mint uncirculated sets, uncirculated business strikes, silver proofs, and proof sets for those years.


YES, exactly what I'm referring to. :) How does one differentiate? And, how do you handle/file/display/whatever in your collection?



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 Posted 01/06/2012  02:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add amida17 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I dont have an impaired 1972s to show. Of the 5 proofs I've pulled from rolls 4 where in the same roll. Just think it would be a stretch for a Lincoln proof to be soooo circulated that you would not immediately recognize it as one...if that makes any sense? Unless it was a very old coin.

Also, the satin coins look very different...matte like finish...immediately recognizable.
Edited by amida17
01/06/2012 02:20 am
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 Posted 01/06/2012  03:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CelticKnot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@amida17


Quote:
Just think it would be a stretch for a Lincoln proof to be soooo circulated that you would not immediately recognize it as one...if that makes any sense?


:) good point and yes, makes sense.... have you found any?
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 Posted 10/03/2019  9:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Webs to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I guess I will toss in a couple of nits I've picked....after 7 years of this post sitting around.....

It may be true what you say....that you cannot understand how someone could not see a proof coin instantly in circulation. BUT....that , like so many things in this hobby, are predicated on experience.

I have had proofs in sets and have a couple proofs in pristine condition outside of sets. But I do not possess a single proof from circulation THAT I KNOW OF, because I have not had anyone say, "that's a proof". Once I have one in my hands and see it with my eyes, I am sure I would agree that it is obvious.
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 Posted 10/03/2019  9:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Since this was bumped for whatever reason, just for the sake of accuracy now the original list of what is produced where has changed greatly as the mint has done different things since the original post
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 Posted 10/03/2019  9:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Gincoin43 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Are all current (standard coin) proofs San-Fran-minted?


I don't know what you are considering standard or current, but Philly has made some proof coins. Sac's, SBA, and 1960 nickel all have Philly proofs. A proof is a specially struck coin.

There are special strike coins the fit half way between and vary.

And then there are business strike coins, that can be described as MS before they are circulated, And include not only the coins used in transactions but coins in mint sets as well.

A silver coin can be a proof or a business strike, or a business strike described as PL.
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 Posted 10/04/2019  10:16 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I believe 1970 is that year proof coins started to be exclusively minted in San Francisco. Prior to that date proof coins were minted at other mints.

Before 1968 all proofs were made in Philadelphia. From 1968 on MOST proof coins were made in San Francisco, there have been some exception such as the 1999 P SBA dollar, they are some P mint and W mint proof commemoratives and one D mint. There are afew "branch mint Proof coins before 1968, but you really don't need to worry about those unless you are buying coins in the tens of thousands of dollars range.
Gary Schmidt
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