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Terminology Specimen Prooflike

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Valued Member
78 Posts
 Posted 12/09/2019  1:49 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add MedveD to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Good Day. I have a question regarding terminology.
As it is described in your glossary, The SP (Specimen) Term used to indicate special coins struck at the Mint from 1792-1816 that display many characteristics of the later Proof coinage. Prior to 1817, the minting equipment and technology was limited, so these coins do not have the "watery" surfaces of later Proofs nor the evenness of strike of the close collar Proofs. PCGS designates these coins SP.
I found another explanation of the SP in another source:
The specimen is used to describe any coin produced to a particularly high standard of finish. Before 1970, most British proof coin sets were described and issued as specimen sets, despite the fact that they would now be called proofs.
In recent years The Royal Mint has started to produce especially good versions of its uncirculated coins which it calls specimens. These are ordinary uncirculated coins which have been handled individually and with greater than normal care, to avoid most, but not all, of the surface blemishes which occur due to bulk handling.

As I understand this term can be defined like "better than usual business strike, but this is not a proof"

So the questions are:
What the difference between SP (specimen) and PL (prooflike), if both of these terms are better than usual strike, but not a proof?

What the difference between modern coins (not only US coins) which has grades SP and PL?

How I can define my coin?
Valued Member
78 Posts
 Posted 12/10/2019  10:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MedveD to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
nobody knows? Where are professionals?
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United States
124785 Posts
 Posted 12/10/2019  11:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I moved your topic to another forum where it may get more attention.
Bedrock of the Community
13014 Posts
 Posted 12/10/2019  4:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
PL coins are business strikes struck with fresh dies that end up with a proof like appearance which is different than SP coins, just as more modern SP are different than old classic ones as with modern coins it kind of becomes a catch all for things that don't fit in the proof or business strike category. PL is the same for all versions, a business strike with proof like appearance aka mirrored fields
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15164 Posts
 Posted 12/10/2019  5:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's my understanding that "PL" coins are coins that become "proof-like" by accident but were struck by "normal" circulation strike production process. "Specimens" are deliberately struck as specimens, with extra attention to detail (coins carefully struck at slow, high pressure on specially prepared blanks and using specially prepared dies). The only difference between Specimen and actual Proof is likewise in the process, as Proof coins are double-struck, whereas Specimens are single-struck. Proof coins also usually have a "cameo" finish, though this distinction is less useful as many older Proof coins do not have this feature and in modern times with many mints producing "cameo" circulation or Specimen designs.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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