Well I barely got it under the wire but I remembered to utilize my $150 submission credit for my Premium Membership before it expired this year. I decided to use it to just add the final 5 silver $1 coins for my BU Bahamas sets.
The Bahamas BU silver series running from 1966 through 1973 has long been a favorite side-collection of mine. I had already completed the 50c coins with the dancing Marlin and the silver dollar sized $2 coins with the Flamingo couple in front of a setting sun ( both gorgeous designs to my eye) but had not completed the silver $1 series with the Conch shell lying among the coral bed. I guess that I'll go ahead and add the large $5 coins soon ( over 1.2 ASW per coin) since I actually own all of them already from the 2-dozen or so mint sets I have been using to assemble top sets with. Every coin in my 3 completed series/sets has come via my own submissions and crossed-finger grading.
Props to NGC for recognizing the variance in mints, finish and packaging for various years of these Bahamian issues and nailing the appropriate grading criteria. To start, the 1966, 1969 and 1970 coins were minted at The Royal Mint and each year had some packaging issues. The 1966 coins tended to bounce around in their mint-issued snap box and although BU, often have quite a few contact marks and scuffs. The 1969 coins are a bit of a disaster as they were in an ill-fitting, hard-plastic single, flat piece that allowed considerable friction on the coins even though remaining in an unopened mint packaging. The 1970 coins were placed in the snap box and managed to stay in place in their assigned concavity better than the 1966 coins, but the case was lined with that faux-velvet, red flocking which often comes loose of the case and attaches to the coins leaving residue and spots.
To give an idea of how much the variance in just packaging affects grades of the Bahamian Uncirculated Sets: my $1 conch series has grades of: 1969- MS64, 1966- MS65, 1971-MS66, 1973- MS67, 1970 MS68 and 1972- MS69.. I couldn't have done that if I tried.
In 1971 the Bahamas switched to the Franklin Mint for their national coinage and the quality is amazing. First of all, the 1971-73 Uncirculated silver coins were done in a matte finish ( long before the burnished look became in vogue for ASE collectors.) This matte finish truly is stunning with the cartwheel effect it plays in unison with the silver and light dancing around the coin as it's tilted in hand. A slight and often unnoticed design change also occurred on the obverse in 1971- the nation began referring to itself on its coinage as The Commonwealth of The Bahamas instead of the prior coin's inscriptions of "Bahamas Islands. " On July 10th, 1973 the Bahamas officially became an independent nation ( I also own the $10 silver Bahamas coin from 1973 with their Independence day and sailing ship- a large 1.5 ounce silver coin.)
So back to the original title of this journal-- along with the remaining dollar coins to complete that series, I had a wonderful $2 Flamingo coin from 1972 that I believed would easily be an upgrade over my existing MS66 for that year.
There have now been 199 Bahamas $2 uncirculated coins submitted to NGC from the 1966 thru 73 series and I am proud to say, we now have a SINGLE Perfect MS70 in the books and encapsulated to stay that way. Without further ramblings-- here is the first picture of this scintillating beauty. Best of luck with your submissions my friends and as always, happy hunting........