SMS versus business strike halfs

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Prez2, May 16, 2018.

  1. Prez2

    Prez2 Well-Known Member

    Quick question for the smart folks here. I have mucho stacks of 1966 & 1967 Kennedy half dollars. Question is, how do I determine if they are business strikes or from SM sets? Should I assume the more "proof-like" ones would be SMS or not? If not, is there any other determining criteria? Sorry for the silly question but it's pertinent to know before sending any off for grading. Thanks in advance!
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  3. joecoincollect

    joecoincollect Well-Known Member

    I'd look at a few examples online, like on ebay. Zoom in on the SMS ones that are in slabs. Then id think you become familiar with that smooth look to them. They are like in between a business strike and a proof. Even better would be to get a sms set and compare the half in there to a regular strike, in person.
  4. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    I can't tell the difference between the two unless they are really high grade. Even then, I'm not sure I can get it right. If you send them in, they need to grade 67 or better to just cover the grading fees.
    Blissskr and medjoy like this.
  5. Blissskr

    Blissskr Well-Known Member

    I agree with Larry, I've heard others say they can but imo they are virtually indistinguishable unless they are cam/dcam or highly mirrored. The rest look just like regular old MS business strikes barring things like the 66' ddo or no 'FG' which are identifiable as SMS even if they don't look like it.
  6. Prez2

    Prez2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for the responses. Much appreciated! I'm kinda happy that others besides myself have a tough time distinguishing between the two. I thought I was missing something obvious. I wouldn't send anything in unless I thought I had a shot at a 67 minimally. I do have many that seem really sweet looking but like I say I couldn't determine SMS or business strike. I think I have seen where the grading services note right on the slab whether it's SMS or otherwise but I could be wrong. I'm guessing business strikes would be worth more in high grades as opposed to SMS? If one commands a premium as opposed to the other with the same grade, I'd be interested in knowing that ahead of time and so I was trying to determine that first. Thanks again!
  7. Prez2

    Prez2 Well-Known Member

    Yes I've looked at them both in hand and I still can't say for sure which would be which. Thanks for the response.
  8. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    The TPG's can't tell them apart consistently either. A high end business strike is pretty much indistinguishable from a mid range SMS. But a High End business strike is worth a LOT more. So to protect their own liability,unless they are ABSOLUTELY sure it is a business strike they will call it a SMS.
    ldhair likes this.
  9. Prez2

    Prez2 Well-Known Member

    Calling it an SMS devalues it then (in essence), correct? I don't guess there are any die markers or any characteristics on the devices that could constitute the difference? I guess my only answer is so send in the couple of coins that I think might have a shot at 67 and find out. Perhaps spending the money on the grading costs would be the best education. I may take that shot.
  10. Prez2

    Prez2 Well-Known Member

    67 is a long shot for sure but, I may waste a few bucks to find out. I'll consider it part of my ongoing education in numismatics. :)
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