Top 10 Rarest Roosevelt's with Full Torch and Full Band Designations
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Here are the 10 rarest Roosevelt dimes that exhibit Full Torch or Full Bands according to NGC and PCGS.

 

I am back and forth on how I feel about the Full Torch and Full Band Designations. On one hand, I think these designations can give a buyer a little more confidence that the Roosevelt dime they are purchasing has a good strike -- even though I have seen enough dimes with just average to below average strikes with all of their torch lines clear, well-defined, and uninterrupted. It is rare, but they do exist.

 

On the other hand, I feel that the FT and FB designations are given out way too generously. If there is even a shred of doubt that any of the vertical lines or either band lines are not clearly defined or interrupted by contact marks, I do not think a dime should receive a FT or FB designation. "Well...maybe" does not cut it for me.

 

It is important to note, however, that PCGS does not mention the vertical lines at all in their official definition of what constitutes FB. The company says, "The PCGS "Full Bands" designation for Roosevelts requires that both the upper and lower pair of bands on the torch be distinct and show full separation. The line dividing the bands must be complete and unbroken." *

 

Meanwhile, NGC does include the vertical lines in their official definition. They say, "The designation FT for Full Torch will be applied to Roosevelt Dimes having both upper and lower pair of horizontal bands split as well as the vertical lines of the torch being defined." **

 

Neither official definition, however, makes any mention of contact marks interrupting the continuity of vertical lines. But, as I said, my opinion is that Roosevelt dimes should not receive FT or FB designations if they have any contact marks through any of the vertical lines.

 

My strategy when looking for a full torch is to use a 10X power loupe to evaluate the lines, instead of a 16X or 20X power loupe that I would normally use to examine a dime. I figure that if I am confident that all of the torch lines are present and uninterrupted using a less powerful loupe, I am comfortable using the Full Torch label.

 

But all this is just my opinion. The third-party coin graders are going to do whatever they want. With that said, below are lists of the rarest Roosevelt dimes with full torch lines according to NGC's and PCGS' population reports as of 12/13. The populations below include all MS grades with FT or FB designations from each grading company.

 

___________NGC ___________________PCGS________

___Year/Mint ~ Total Pop.______Year/Mint ~ Total Pop.____

___1949-S______34__________1949-S______56_______

___1958-P______39__________1958-P______82_______

___1961-P______44__________1953-P______100______

___1957-P______48__________1949-P______106______

___1955-P______57__________1957-P______108______

___1953-P______59__________1963-P______110______

___1963-P______64__________1961-P______111______

___1949-P______65__________1963-D______128______

___1956-P______81__________1956-P______134______

___1963-D______85__________1955-P______135______

 

Clearly, the 1949-S is the rarest Roosevelt dime with full split bands according to NGC and PCGS. As the key date in the series, this is not surprising.

 

The 1955 P was actually the lowest mintage for the silver Roosevelt dime series. But the data above supports the long held belief that collectors hoarded 1955 Roosevelts due to low mintage and the fact that 1955 was the last year business-struck Roosevelts were minted in San Francisco.

 

I have heard that the 1955 dimes were only available through mint sets. However, the data that I have found does not support this. According to MintSetGuide.com, there were only 49,656 business-struck mint sets produced in 1955. (I was unable to find mint set production figures on the U.S. Mint's website, but I am 99% confident that the data from MintSetGuide.com is correct.) Here are the total production figures for comparison:

 

Year/Mint ~ Total Production

1955-P______12,450,181

1949-S______13,510,000

1955-D______13,959,000

1955-S______18,510,000

 

In conclusion, I think there should be an industry-wide standard for FT and FB designations on Roosevelt dimes. And I would personally like this standard to be much stricter than current definitions by NGC and PCGS. But alas, I am only one voice among millions.

 

Regards,

 

Mr. Smith Guesser

 

 

 

Further Reading:

 

Roosevelt Dime Attributions: NGC Full Torch "FT" vs. PCGS Full Bands "FB", by Michael Bugeja, CoinUpdate.com, April 16, 2010: http://news.coinupdate.com/roosevelt-dime-ngc-full-torch-ft-vs-pcgs-full-bands-fb-0236/

 

Has 1955 Roosevelt Dime Price Settled?;, by Paul M. Green, Numismatic News, April 09, 2010: http://numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ArticleId=10023

 

 

References:

* http://www.pcgs.com/News/Pcgs-To-Add-Full-Bands-Designation-For-Roosevelt-Dimes

** http://www.ngccoin.com/news/viewarticle.aspx?NewsletterNewsArticleID=426

 

See more journals by Mr. Smith Guesser

Edited by Mr. Smith Guesser

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I presume this is restricted to the silver coins from 1946-1964?

 

The 1980 (both mints), 1990 (both mints), and 1991 (both mints) are less common in FB/FT than any you have listed. There are a few other sporadic FB/FT rarities also:

 

FB/FT examples

------------------------------------------------------

Date___________PCGS______NGC

------------------------------------------------------

1980-P___________2________0

1980-D___________2________1

1990-P___________1________1

1990-D___________2________0

1991-P___________6________2

1991-D___________1________1

------------------------------------------------------

 

It's always surprising to me that these modern coins are almost never found with a full torch/bands strike designation. For example, the 1980-P Roosevelt dime, with mintage north of 735 million coins -- yet none designated FT by NGC! I wonder how many are out there...if any.

 

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I presume this is restricted to the silver coins from 1946-1964?

 

The 1980 (both mints), 1990 (both mints), and 1991 (both mints) are less common in FB/FT than any you have listed. There are a few other sporadic FB/FT rarities also:

 

FB/FT examples

------------------------------------------------------

Date___________PCGS______NGC

------------------------------------------------------

1980-P___________2________0

1980-D___________2________1

1990-P___________1________1

1990-D___________2________0

1991-P___________6________2

1991-D___________1________1

------------------------------------------------------

 

It's always surprising to me that these modern coins are almost never found with a full torch/bands strike designation. For example, the 1980-P Roosevelt dime, with mintage north of 735 million coins -- yet none designated FT by NGC! I wonder how many are out there...if any.

 

perhaps it has to do with the total number of coins even submitted to NGC for grading..

 

 

total coins graded by NGC:

 

1949-S 2189 coins

 

1980-P 90 coins

1980-D 82 coins

1990-P 48 coins

1990-D 72 coins

1991-P 51 coins

1991-D 41 coins

 

with such low numbers of coins graded by NGC, it is no wonder so few received the FT designation. if they were graded by the 1000's, like the earlier dates, i bet it would look different

Edited by yonico

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Id have to disagree about the FT dimes in the silver series. In my mind, the toughest dates in FT are the 58P and 57P. Both are close behind your numbers for the 49S. Price wise, in FT, both are more expensive coins especially at the top end of the grading spectrum where there are less than half of the 67FTs compared to the 49S.

 

The clad series adds some serious conditional rarities that likely eclipse the silver ones if you are just considering the FT designation. Problem is that the clad series is so narrowly collected that there might be rolls of FT dimes just waiting to discover, but so few collectors care to submit them.

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Yeah sorry for the confusion, it's restricted to the silver 1946-64 Roosies. But you know what, you have a great point. Ultimately NGC and PCGS can only grade and report the dates that they are submitted.

 

PCGS has survival estimates for both FB and non-FB dimes, and I considered adding that information to the journal. But they say that the survival estimates are an ongoing project, and from what I can tell, there appear to be some errors in the numbers.

 

For example, they estimate that 167,000 1946 S 10c survive at MS 65 or better. But they also estimate that 167,000 1946 S 10c survive at MS 65 FB or better. And we can assume that this is a mistake because most of the other survival estimates for FB dimes are much lower than the non-FB counterparts. So I didn't include PCGS' estimates in the journal.

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Yeah the '57 P and '58 P are very tough to find in FT. I don't have either date with FT or FB in my collection yet. I was just basing everything on population reports.

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Also, I forgot to add this when I was reposting the journal for the message boards.

 

BOOM!:

sr9x9ty.png

Edited by Mr. Smith Guesser

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Hi,

 

I have a rare NGC MS 67 FT 1949 S Roosevelt Dime for sale. Asking $650 (shipping included). If anyone is interested please let me know.

 

Regards,

 

Chris

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is it the red one on eBay?...

 

wait i just looked again, there are two on eBay now. is either one yours?

Edited by Mr. Smith Guesser

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If you go into your previous journal that was not designated for chat boards you can delete it. That will leave room for others. :)

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thanks rick i was looking earlier how to delete the first one but couldn't find it. i got it now though.

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I presume this is restricted to the silver coins from 1946-1964?

 

The 1980 (both mints), 1990 (both mints), and 1991 (both mints) are less common in FB/FT than any you have listed. There are a few other sporadic FB/FT rarities also:

 

FB/FT examples

------------------------------------------------------

Date___________PCGS______NGC

------------------------------------------------------

1980-P___________2________0

1980-D___________2________1

1990-P___________1________1

1990-D___________2________0

1991-P___________6________2

1991-D___________1________1

------------------------------------------------------

 

It's always surprising to me that these modern coins are almost never found with a full torch/bands strike designation. For example, the 1980-P Roosevelt dime, with mintage north of 735 million coins -- yet none designated FT by NGC! I wonder how many are out there...if any.

 

perhaps it has to do with the total number of coins even submitted to NGC for grading..

 

 

total coins graded by NGC:

 

1949-S 2189 coins

 

1980-P 90 coins

1980-D 82 coins

1990-P 48 coins

1990-D 72 coins

1991-P 51 coins

1991-D 41 coins

 

with such low numbers of coins graded by NGC, it is no wonder so few received the FT designation. if they were graded by the 1000's, like the earlier dates, i bet it would look different

 

Part of it is assuredly the low numbers submitted. But, less than you'd think. There are serious clad Roosevelt dime collectors both in the NGC and PCGS registry sets, and I would guess that thousands of 1980 Roosevelt UNC dimes were pre-screened before submitting only those with a good shot at FT. Everyone thinks that moderns are "easy to find in gem+ unc" until they actually start looking and trying to submit for themselves. And, for the 1980 strikes at least, it's not an issue of the number submitted so much as the quality of the product in general put out by the mint that year.

 

For example, take the 1980-P and 1980-D coins graded by NGC thus far (172 coins). Even if you pro-rate the FT proportion up to the 2189 coins graded for the 1949-S, that's equivalent to 13 total coins graded for 1980 with FT. Still far scarcer.

 

But, if you think 1980 FT Roosies are "easy" to find in FT, I challenge you to find even one! :)

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The clad series adds some serious conditional rarities that likely eclipse the silver ones if you are just considering the FT designation. Problem is that the clad series is so narrowly collected that there might be rolls of FT dimes just waiting to discover, but so few collectors care to submit them.

 

At least for the 1980 strikes, at both Denver and Philly, it's an issue of the quality of the production/strike at the mints. There simply are not "rolls" of FT dimes laying around from those years. It's like trying to find a full steps Jeff nickel from the early 1960s. If the best possible from the dies was just barely "sort of" FT, then almost all that were struck will be non-FT.

 

I will acknowledge that the clad Roosies are narrowly collected, but those who do collect them seriously for registry reasons have most assuredly already searched through probably bags or hundreds of mint sets to find those few FT examples that do exist.

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When were the master dies re-engraved, and what effect did that have on the progression of FT coins? For example, the Franklin master was re-engraved in 1960, strengthening almost all details except for the bell lines. Did anything similar occur for the Roosies?

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These are all common coins, so basing any estimate of "rarity" on grading company population reports is a false premise.

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I do have to agree with you there. Perhaps "rare" isn't the most accurate word to use. To be more accurate I could have said "Top 10 Least Common Roosevelts Certified FT or FB by NGC and PCGS"

 

But I'm a writer. And I can't not use alliteration when possible, especially in a title. I swear I was originally thinking of a title like "Really Rare Roosevelt Rant"

Edited by Mr. Smith Guesser

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"Fine Full-Torch Franklins & Figures" :-)

 

Do we know if the standards for FT/FB are a little more strict on post 1965 issues? Comparing my FT designated classics versus more modern ones, there certainly appears to be a difference in strike quality over-all.

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I agree that Pre-1965 Roosevelt silver dimes are very common coins if you look at the mintage numbers. So for that matter are Franklin Half Dollars. The problem isn't finding a Mint State Pre-1965 Roosevelt dime, but finding one at MS 67 or better with a Full Torch (FT) and excellent overall eye appeal. For Franklin Half dollars finding a coin in MS 66 or better condition with Full Bell Lines (FBL) and good eye appeal is also very hard. Those are in fact conditionally rare coins. Go out an buy some 1960 to 1963 Mint sets and submit the Roosevelt dimes and Franklin Half Dollars to NGC and see what grades you get. You probably won't be pleased. At this point most of the Pre-1965 mint sets have been cherry picked for high grade coins. I've even bought unopened Federal Reserve rolls of Pre-1965 coins searching for high grade dimes and half dollars. While you may find many MS 64 and MS 65 coins it is hard to find MS 67 or 68 with either FT or FBL respectively.

 

So if you have a large stash of Pre-1965 MS 67 FT or better Roosevelt dimes or MS 66 FBL or better Franklin half dollars let me know as we can make a deal.

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I suspect you are right, at least with respect to the 1980 dimes. I just pulled out my three 1980 Mint Sets and the torch lines on the dimes, both P and D, are lousy!!! Some visible at the top of the torch, but by the time you reach the bottom nothing is visible at all! My 1981 mint sets have very nice dimes with full torch lines.

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