Other Release Designations

NGC offers several designations for coins with a documented date of release. These special designations are used by NGC when coins are accompanied by documentation or received by NGC for certification within a specified time-window. NGC's conventions for their use are described on this website.

First Day of Issue | First Day Ceremony | First Year of Issue | First Strikes (discontinued) | First Strike Ceremony Coins | Numbered First Strike Editions | FAQ


NGC will designate FIRST DAY OF ISSUE on US coins that have an official release date. To qualify, coins must be received by NGC by the official release date or by overnight mail or air carrier on the day immediately following the official release date. Alternatively, coins still packed in sealed US Mint issue First Day Covers are eligible for this designation. Private issue covers are not accepted.

The US Mint in official statements has indicated that for certain coins it begins production several weeks before the coins are scheduled to be released (“the official release date”). By the official release date, the US Mint may have produced a significant portion of the projected sales numbers for certain coins. Coins received by NGC for designation as First Day of Issue on or prior to their official release dates may come from a number of commercial or individual submitters.


Occasionally, a US coin is officially released at a ceremony or event organized by the US Mint or government body overseeing the coin’s release. NGC will designate coins from such ceremonies as FIRST DAY CEREMONY. To qualify, submitters must notify NGC in advance of the ceremony that they wish to submit coins for the FIRST DAY CEREMONY designation. Additional supporting documentation may be required for eligibility. In all cases coins must be sent by overnight courier from the ceremony location and arrive at NGC on the day immediately following the ceremony.

First Year Holder


NGC has developed a special “First Year of Issue” label for use with most modern US and world coins. A first year of issue is the coin from the first dated year of a new coin type. For example, the American Gold Eagle was first issued in 1986; all American Gold Eagles dated 1986 are eligible for encapsulation with this special label. (Note: The First Year of Issue designation and label is not available for coins of the same series but struck in new sizes or formats after the original introduction of the coin type.) The First Year of Issue label is green with the words FIRST YEAR OF ISSUE at bottom and in overprint at top. Additional certification fees apply, and no supplementary documentation or packing is required when submitting coins for this designation.


During 2006, NGC used the term "first strikes" for US bullion coinage shipped from the US Mint within the first month of their official release. This designation is no longer in use by NGC. First strikes designated coins are eligible for inclusion in the NGC Registry and are reported individually on the NGC Census.


There are other types of coins of early release which can be designated by NGC. In some cases the words FIRST STRIKE have appeared on a regular NGC label. This designation indicates that the encapsulated coin was struck during a first strike ceremony at the US Mint and NGC has received appropriate substantiation of the fact. When the US Mint releases a new coinage design, a special event can be held during which notable figures related to that coinage will be invited to strike the first of these coins. This has been used on States Quarters and other circulating and commemorative issues.


On several occasions, NGC has received coinage with official mint documentation stating that a particular group of coins were among the first examples produced. These will be represented on their certification label indicating that the encapsulated coin belongs to this edition. The size of the edition is also included (e.g., ONE OF FIRST 1000 STRUCK; ONE OF FIRST 50,000 STRUCK). This designation can also be applied to foreign coins when satisfactory supporting documentation is available. This designation is available only on bulk submissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does the US Mint sell "first strike" coins?

A. The US Mint does not currently use this term on any coins that it sells. On their website, they state that, "Currently, there is no widely-accepted and standardized numismatic industry definition of 'first strike.'" The designations and terms described on this webpage are conventions developed by NGC for the certification of early release coinage.

The US Mint announcement on "first strike" coinage can be viewed on their website: