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Key And Semi-key Confusion!

 
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 Posted 07/09/2019  4:25 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add shaney777 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Ron Guth of PCGS considers the 1909-S cent to be a key date, while Jaime Hernandez, also of PCGS, considers it a semi-key. They both have input in PCGS CoinFacts, yet here they differ. That sort of sums up keys and semi-keys - there is no authoritative list that all agree on. It really bothers me!
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 Posted 07/09/2019  4:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fioti to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sorta, kinda like the '82 & '83 nickels, depends who you ask & if they're

selling.
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 Posted 07/09/2019  5:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Right, there is no authoritative list, and there likely never will be, in part because rarity varies considerably with condition. In the Lincoln cents, for example, the 1909-SVDB is a key in Fine, while the 1926-S is a semi-key in the same grade. But in MS 65RD, the 1926-S is a super key, while the 1909-SVDB is a far less expensive semi-key.
Edited by Coinfrog
07/09/2019 5:55 pm
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 Posted 07/09/2019  5:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In my opinion, there is one key per series. Everything else is semi-key. For some I suppose it is just easier to say key than semi-key.
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 Posted 07/09/2019  5:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Greasy Fingers to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm with Jbuck on this one...
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 Posted 07/09/2019  5:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It doesn't really matter to me as long as TPG will never list it on their labels . I have my own way of knowing what is a key and what is a semi-key .
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 Posted 07/09/2019  5:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
jbuck - So what defines your single key? Mintage? Price? Popularity?
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 Posted 07/09/2019  6:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kanga to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1. IMO a mint errors cannot be a key or a semi key.
So that takes a few pricey coins out of consideration.
2. IMO proofs errors cannot be a key or a semi key.
3. That leaves me with two coins as keys: 1909-SVDB and 1914-D.

A 1909-S and a 1931-S I look on as semi-keys.

I base this all on catalog value.
Describe it as if there were no picture.
Picture it as if there were no description.
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 Posted 07/09/2019  6:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
But catalog value in what grade?
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 Posted 07/09/2019  7:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sir Derrin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
IMHO - Key and semi key is based on rarity of normal mint issue coins IE... how many where minted and survive in collectors hands.... all errors and varieties are "gravy" Grading just adds another dimension of desirability.

Any regularly minted coin with a low mintage will usually have a higher premium because of perceived scarcity regardless of reality.

I think Kanga basically nailed the Lincoln pennies..
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 Posted 07/09/2019  7:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What about other series? Do you agree with jbuck that there is only one key for a series?
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 Posted 07/09/2019  7:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sir Derrin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I tend to follow the "long" established basic semi and key dates and most of that is based on mintage and survival rates.. There are a few exceptions where coinage was "melted" some silver dollars ect.. where mintage was high but most got melted.., Call me a traditionalist in this area
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 Posted 07/09/2019  7:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not sure there are any "long established" guidelines for any series, including the Lincoln wheats. When I was collecting as a kid, the keys were the '09-S, '09-SVDB, '14-D and '31-S. Semi-keys were the other S and D mints through 1915, 1922-D, 1924-D and the 1926-S.
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 Posted 07/09/2019  7:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sir Derrin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You wouldn't considered that established?
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 Posted 07/09/2019  7:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For me, if I have to save up a month or two to buy one, then it is a semi-key. Saving up to buy a key takes a year (or more, depending on the series).
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 Posted 07/09/2019  7:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sir Derrin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You nailed it Spence :) availability = Price as a general rule
The more folks as a general rule are willing to pay for a particular coin the more we perceive it as a "rare" or key /semi key and that is almost always tied to mintage and survival rates...
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