MS or SMS 65 Kennedy? Help appreciated.

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by howboutatrade, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. howboutatrade

    howboutatrade Member

    Okay...have what I believe is a 1965 Kennedy MS coin, nice strike with proof like fields. Buddy's tell me I have an SMS coin. Can you help with more knowledge...is this an MS or an SMS???? Help settle the debate, please.

    IMG_2884.jpg IMG_2886.jpg IMG_2885.jpg IMG_2887.jpg
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  3. 19Lyds

    19Lyds Member of the United States of Confusion

    IMO, the fields are too heavily mirrored for the coin to be MS and I expect that any reputable grading service would see it the same way.

    SMS coins were minted on specially prepared dies and struck with higher than normal striking pressure thereby producing very clean, well struck coins which often times had "proof-like" surfaces.
  4. Fifty

    Fifty Master Roll Searcher

    Looks SMS to me.
  5. jello

    jello Old+Long time Member

    1965-67 Kennedy are all SMS
    SMS- Ultra Cameo/Deep Cameo are the rarer type of the SMS
  6. howboutatrade

    howboutatrade Member

    I always thought that SMS in 1965 was a "testing" year and the fields ended up looking more "rough" as they got the process figured out. Kind of like the preamble to Satin finish....thus the fields were mirrored but had a "textured" finish to them (such as the picture below). Where the best struck MS coins would be very similar as it is a fresh die and all, yet the finish would be non-existent...thus smooth to the appearance like the photos in the original post.

    IMG_2889.jpg
  7. ronterry

    ronterry New Member

    I went through this same predicament, and this article (Don't know where it was, but searched SMS vs regular) basically said; once an SMS entered circulation or left it's original mint lens, there was no real way to tell the difference. period... It would be next to impossible to compare a Monday morning to an SMS unless you have a known SMS next to you...
    It does look good, and I would have no problem putting it in an SMS slot in my Dansco!
    You might slip PCGS an email, and ask how they would tell? Do they need the original paper work or lens? Do it!
    You will be a hero if you post the reply here! Cause I would really like to know, and I bet this question gets ask a lot... Heck I saw the slots in my Dansco, and yelled NO MORE ENIGMAS!!! LOL

    BTW: They might just have a better eye, and can see that small difference? But I bet they sneak out a known SMS just to make sure....
  8. howboutatrade

    howboutatrade Member

    Email and photos off to PCGS....let's see what they respond with, or if they respond at all.
  9. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    I don't know of anyone who can identify an SMS coin from a photgraph unless it is cameo. And the only reason that works is because ONLY the SMS coins from '65, '66 & '67 can even be cameo.

    That said, even the foremost experts argue and disagree about whether or not a coin is SMS or business strike once said coin has been removed from the SMS holder. Even PCGS has admitedly made mistakes by attributing some coins as being SMS, when they were not SMS - and vice versa.

    If you wish your coin to be attributed you just have to send it in and take your chances. Either way it is a crap shoot.
  10. howboutatrade

    howboutatrade Member

    The coin pictured in the original post is in my collection as an MS 1965....it is a very nice MS specimen in my opinion...but others look at say it should be an SMS coin...I disagree, but cannot get confirmation either way and sending it in as a gamble, well, I will just enjoy it in my collection and have fun with the discussion when it arises.

    Be interesting to see what is in any response from PCGS.
  11. BR549

    BR549 Junior Member

    I'd be willing to bet your response from PCGS isgoing to be simple and direct, "Send us the coin for grading."

    Unfortunately, they are not in the business to answer e-mails about what a coin is or isn't, unless you are a big name dealer with something uber rare.

    Don't be offended, it's just business.
  12. howboutatrade

    howboutatrade Member


    And that level of customer service is one of the many reasons most of my coins are raw. The TPG's reputations are sliding as they continue to look more at marketing (labels, special designators that mean nothing, etc) and less at expertise and knowledge.
  13. ronterry

    ronterry New Member

    I shot them a message through my CoinFacts sub! We'll see what they say...
  14. jello

    jello Old+Long time Member

    I agree!
    coin from 1965-67 are grade MS & SMS. I collect silver Kennedy's SMS 65-67 Cameo coins and have had a few graded.
    like Doug said it like throwing dice you do know what grade detail you will get MS or SMS

    E-mail a TPG unless you have an account,you must likely get a membership e-mail before any answer

    Attached Files:

  15. ratio411

    ratio411 Active Member

    Looks SMS to me.
    SMS has a glossy appearance, while UNC will have a satin-like appearance.
    I know that there are coins that will border one or the other, but generally they are easy to tell apart when they have not been circulated.
    Once they are circulated, SMS or business strike, all bets are off.
  16. 19Lyds

    19Lyds Member of the United States of Confusion

    To make this statement you must have personally pulled this from a roll purchased at the bank in either 1965 or 1966.
  17. howboutatrade

    howboutatrade Member

    Thought I replied already, however it does not show up, so apoloqize if this thought ends up on the thread twice.

    If a 1965 coin is not discernible between SMS and MS, is there truely a need for the SMS distinction? Should they just not have a MS with PL or DMPL as designators to say the same thing? Is an SMS label the same as a "First Strike" or "First Day of Issue" where it can only truely be know if sent to TPG in original packaging? Is this lack of uniqueness the case for all 1965, 1966, and 1967 SMS coins?
  18. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    See post #8. What I said really is true.
  19. 19Lyds

    19Lyds Member of the United States of Confusion

    There is a way Doug but only if you know your die varieties. I had a 1966 Kennedy slabbed as SMS and was informed by James Wiles that the variety (DDO-034) was not knwn for SMS coins so it had to be an MS coin. PCGS reslabbed it as such.
  20. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Fair enough. But then that is only true with a few select coins. I was not talking about every single coin, but in the general sense.

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