Strike Characters

In addition to grade, other attributes of a coins condition, quality of manufacture and appearance are described by NGC. These include strike characters and designations.

A strike character most often describes how well an area of a coin was struck, and is used when this information is of specific interest to collectors. For example, Mercury Dimes are described with the notation FB for Full Bands which immediately follows the grade when, on the reverse of the coin, the central bands on the fasces are fully split. A number of similar strike characters are employed by NGC.

A designation usually indicates something about the appearance of the coin. For example, NGC describes Proof coins (coins struck for presentation or display purposes) that display contrast between the central devices and the field area as being CAMEO. This is one of the many designations used by NGC. Some special designations indicate when a coin was minted. For example, NGC uses the special designation FIRST DAY OF MINTAGE for Presidential Dollars received for certification on their official day of release or by overnight courier on the day immediately following. More information about this type of designation can be found on the Early Release Designation portion of this website.

A comprehensive list of strike characters and special designations follows.

CENSUS LABEL DESCRIPTION APPLICABLE COIN TYPES
(how the strike character appears in the NGC Census) (how the strike character appears on the NGC label) (a verbal description of the strike character) (the types of coins to which it applies)
5DP 5FS DPL Five Full Steps, Deep Prooflike Jefferson Nickels Only
5FS 5FS Five Full Steps Jefferson Nickels Only
5PL 5FS PL Five Full Steps, Prooflike Jefferson Nickels Only
5SC 5FS CAMEO Five Full Steps, Cameo Jefferson Nickels Only
5SU 5FS ULTRA CAMEO Five Full Steps, Ultra Cameo Jefferson Nickels Only
6FS 6FS Six Full Steps Jefferson Nickels Only
6PL 6FS PL Six Full Steps, Prooflike Jefferson Nickels Only
6SC 6FS CAMEO Six Full Steps, Cameo Jefferson Nickels Only
6SU 6FS ULTRA CAMEO Six Full Steps, Ultra Cameo Jefferson Nickels Only
BN BN Brown All Copper Coins, Mint State and Proof
BNB BN BRILLIANT Brown, Brilliant Proof Copper Coins
BNC BN CAMEO Brown, Cameo Proof Copper Coins
BND BN DPL Brown, Deep Prooflike Mint State Copper Coins
BNM BN MATTE Brown, Matte Proof Copper Coins
BNP BN PL Brown, Prooflike Mint State Copper Coins
BNS BN SATIN Brown, Satin Proof Copper Coins
BNU BN ULTRA CAMEO Brown, Ultra Cameo Proof Copper Coins
CA CAMEO Cameo All Proof Coins
DFM DPL FIRST DAY OF MINTAGE Deep Prooflike, First Day of Mintage Presidential $1 Coins Only
DME DPL MINT ERROR Deep Prooflike, Mint Error Mint errors
DPL DPL Deep Prooflike All Mint State Coins, esp. Morgan Dollars
FB FB Full Bands Mercury Dimes Only
FBD FB DPL Full Bands, Deep Prooflike Mercury Dimes Only
FBL FBL Full Bell Lines Franklin Half Dollars Only
FBP FB PL Full Bands, Prooflike Mercury Dimes Only
FD FIRST DAY OF ISSUE First Day of Issue Presidential $1 Coins Only
FDD DPL FIRST DAY OF ISSUE Deep Prooflike, First Day of Issue Presidential $1 Coins Only
FDP PL FIRST DAY OF ISSUE Prooflike, First Day of Issue Presidential $1 Coins Only
FH FH Full Head Standing Liberty Quarters Only
FHD FH DPL Full Head, Deep Prooflike Standing Liberty Quarters Only
FHP FH PL Full Head, Prooflike Standing Liberty Quarters Only
FLD FBL DPL Full Bell Lines, Deep Prooflike Franklin Half Dollars Only
FLP FBL PL Full Bell Lines, Prooflike Franklin Half Dollars Only
FM FIRST DAY OF MINTAGE First Day of Mintage Coins in US Mint Covers, so designated
FT FT Full Torch Roosevelt Dimes Only
FTD FT DPL Full Torch, Deep Prooflike Roosevelt Dimes Only
FTP FT PL Full Torch, Prooflike Roosevelt Dimes Only
MA MATTE Matte Used Infrequently
ME MINT ERROR Mint Error Mint errors
PFM PL FIRST DAY OF MINTAGE Prooflike, First Day of Mintage Presidential $1 Coins Only
PL PL Prooflike All Mint State Coins, esp. Morgan Dollars
PME PL MINT ERROR Prooflike, Mint Error Mint errors
RB RB Red Brown All Copper Coins, Mint State and Proof
RBB RB BRILLIANT Red Brown, Brilliant Proof Copper Coins
RBC RB CAMEO Red Brown, Cameo Proof Copper Coins
RBD RB DPL Red Brown, Deep Prooflike Mint State Copper Coins
RBM RB MATTE Red Brown, Matte Proof Copper Coins
RBP RB PL Red Brown, Prooflike Mint State Copper Coins
RBS RB SATIN Red Brown, Satin Proof Copper Coins
RBU RB ULTRA CAMEO Red Brown, Ultra Cameo Proof Copper Coins
RD RD Red All Copper Coins, Mint State and Proof
RDB RD BRILLIANT Red, Brilliant Proof Copper Coins
RDC RD CAMEO Red, Cameo Proof Copper Coins
RDD RD DPL Red, Deep Prooflike Mint State Copper Coins
RDM RD MATTE Red, Matte Proof Copper Coins
RDP RD PL Red, Proof Like Mint State Copper Coins
RDS RD SATIN Red, Satin Proof Copper Coins
RDU RD ULTRA CAMEO Red, Ultra Cameo Proof Copper Coins
RFD RD FIRST DAY OF ISSUE Red, First Day of Issue Modern Coins Only
RY RELEASE CEREMONY Release Ceremony Modern Coins Only
RFY RD RELEASE CEREMONY Red, Release Ceremony Modern Coins Only
SA SATIN Satin Used Infrequently
UC ULTRA CAMEO Ultra Cameo All Proof Coins

 

Last Updated August 23, 2012.