1964 5C SMS SP68 Full Steps PCGS. Ex: Steve Strom Collection. A lovely example of the elusive 1964 Special Mint Set coinage that was apparently produced to test the finishes of the 1965-1967 SMS sets. The estimate of sets produced ranges from 20 to 50, although some of them may have been lost to attrition. But other sets "may still be out there," as a recent PCGS online article by Jaime Hernandez notes.
This piece shows an amazing, sculptural depth of detail that is uniformly absent on business strikes, yet fully equal to the strike on a proof coin. The finish, however, is nonreflective, with heavy die polishing lines that are a theme with variations on the 1964 SMS coinage. On the reverse, not only are the five central steps complete (the bottom sixth step is not), but most of the small steps on the porticos on each side are sharp as well. Contact evidence is almost nonexistent, and both sides display pretty lilac and ice-blue coloration. Simply a marvelous coin.