A Prooflike Ike Dollar
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31 posts in this topic

Well, here's a coin I never thought I'd own. Those of you who know me know that I have been working on a Prooflike Type set for about 10 years now. One of the many show-stoppers is the Eisenhower Dollar. Throughout the entire series, NGC has designated 4 Bicentennial Ike's as PL (3 of which are currently on Ebay), and a single non-Bicentennial (a 1971D). The Bicentennials have been on Ebay for several years, and their asking price ranges around $2500 (which is, I'm sure, why they have not sold). 
 
In the 7070 Type Set (which is what the NGC Registry set is based on), there are 3 Ike's required. The first is the regular clad version, the second is the Silver issue, and the third is the Bicentennial. NGC has not designated any Silver issues as PL.
 
Well, I was trolling Ebay, as I often do, and this beauty appeared in my search. Long before NGC started designating PL's, old ANACS did. I've had mixed success with the small white holders regarding PL - some of the coins I've bought have been incredibly strong PLs, some of them did not cross to NGC as a PL. Either way, this one looked good so I put in a pretty strong bid. Lucky me, I won!
 
So, I present to you my newest Prooflike: a 1971 S (silver issue) graded ANACS MS-64 PL. In hand, the mirrors are definitely full and strong. There are a few marks which limit the grade (64 is probably right, but I wouldn't be surprised with a 65 when I send it to NGC eventually). But, it is unquestionably a PL.
 
Tell me what you think! I've included a video so that you can see how the mirrors behave in the light.
 
 
 
img_1895-jpg.1170769
img_1900-2-jpg.1170770
 
Edited by physics-fan3.14
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9 minutes ago, numisport said:

Great coin Jason but I don't think NGC will consider crossover from ANACS is that right ? So would your Ike have to be raw ?

That is correct. It doesn't actually have to be raw - they will crack it for me. But they treat it as raw. 

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25 minutes ago, VKurtB said:

Neat, neat, neat. But this began life as a “Blue Pak Ike”, no? What do you know about the scuffing above the eagle’s head?

Yes, all of the 1971S Uncirculate Ikes are Silver, and were issued in the blue paks. 

The "scuffing" above the eagle's head is actually die polish. 

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2 minutes ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

Yes, all of the 1971S Uncirculate Ikes are Silver, and were issued in the blue paks. 

The "scuffing" above the eagle's head is actually die polish. 

Wowsers! I never would have suspected that. Is it okay with you if I print out these photos, label them for what they are, and put them in a 4x6 file box? I'm old school that way and I always ask for permission first. I will add your byline, of course.

Edited by VKurtB
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4 minutes ago, VKurtB said:

Wowsers! I never would have suspected that. Is it okay with you if I print out these photos, label them for what they are, and put them in a 4x6 file box? I'm old school that way and I always ask for permission first. I will add your byline, of course.

Sure. 

The key indicator here, for those not familiar with die polish, is that the scratches appear to go *under* the rim of the earth. You can see the scratches on the right side of the globe (in the Atlantic), and in the fields - but there are no scratches on the actual relief of the globe (the rim). Similarly, the scratches appear to go under the eagle's head - but are not actually visible on the eagle's head. 

If they were scratches from cleaning or post mint damage, they would go across the top of the eagle. 

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2 hours ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

Sure. 

The key indicator here, for those not familiar with die polish, is that the scratches appear to go *under* the rim of the earth. You can see the scratches on the right side of the globe (in the Atlantic), and in the fields - but there are no scratches on the actual relief of the globe (the rim). Similarly, the scratches appear to go under the eagle's head - but are not actually visible on the eagle's head. 

If they were scratches from cleaning or post mint damage, they would go across the top of the eagle. 

Some of it does go into the globe of the earth, which granted is an extremely low-relief device, and a candidate for "die related" marking. The "slanted part" of the edge of the rim of earth does not show it, and buttresses your point.

Edited by VKurtB
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29 minutes ago, VKurtB said:

Some of it does go into the globe of the earth, which granted is an extremely low-relief device, and a candidate for "die related" marking. The "slanted part" of the edge of the rim of earth does not show it, and buttresses your point.

Yes, that's what I meant - the rim of the earth that appears as a raised circle. Sorry if I wasn't clear. 

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1 minute ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

Yes, that's what I meant - the rim of the earth that appears as a raised circle. Sorry if I wasn't clear. 

It was clear enough to me; I didn't want someone else to misinterpret. As someone who writes legislative language, excessively precise explanations are an occupational hazard. ;)

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Nice PL and fine member of your collection.

Now if the design would magically change to something remotely attractive or handsome or inspiring....or just ordinary.

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38 minutes ago, RWB said:

Nice PL and fine member of your collection.

Now if the design would magically change to something remotely attractive or handsome or inspiring....or just ordinary.

True, but consider what replaced it. Ewwww.

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Back in the late 1980's, Alan Hager of Accugrade fame, had quite a few Ikes that he slabbed as PL. I recall seeing them in his case at the Long Beach show. Many of them were true prooflikes. 

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A few more questions about these rare prooflike Ikes : For what reason would these dies have been fully polished ? Since your coin shows full detail I suspect it was struck from specially prepared dies maybe as specimen or presentation strike. Do you think there are other prooflike die pairs ? How many die pair do you think were used to strike the 4 million plus '71-S Ikes ? Like some of you I was a collector when these were issued and originally never really cared much for Ikes at the time but now am growing fond of them. More info is welcome to me.

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Jason, I’m under the impression that you’re extremely well versed on PL coins. That said, based just upon the video, I wouldn’t expect the coin to receive a PL designation. Do you feel that the video accurately conveys the degree of reflectiveness?

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I seem to recall reading about some so-called “Presidential packaging” 1971-S Ike’s that included Nixon’s signature. Am I misremembering or have confused this with something else? I am fairly certain one of those was in an exhibit I judged at the 2019 Spring Whitman show in Baltimore. Could there be a nexus between those and these PL jobs?

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1 hour ago, numisport said:

A few more questions about these rare prooflike Ikes : For what reason would these dies have been fully polished ? Since your coin shows full detail I suspect it was struck from specially prepared dies maybe as specimen or presentation strike. Do you think there are other prooflike die pairs ? How many die pair do you think were used to strike the 4 million plus '71-S Ikes ? Like some of you I was a collector when these were issued and originally never really cared much for Ikes at the time but now am growing fond of them. More info is welcome to me.

This might help a little.

 

19741024 dollar die life-1_Page_2.jpg

Edited by RWB
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2 hours ago, numisport said:

A few more questions about these rare prooflike Ikes : For what reason would these dies have been fully polished ? Since your coin shows full detail I suspect it was struck from specially prepared dies maybe as specimen or presentation strike. Do you think there are other prooflike die pairs ? How many die pair do you think were used to strike the 4 million plus '71-S Ikes ? Like some of you I was a collector when these were issued and originally never really cared much for Ikes at the time but now am growing fond of them. More info is welcome to me.

There has been much speculation about "presentation strikes" throughout the years. The fact is, there is just no documentation to suggest anything special about these coins. There are so many prooflikes on so many series throughout the years that there is no way that these are "presentation strikes." Polishing a die was done if there was a defect or a flaw in the die, or in preparation of putting a new die in service. Roger can explain more about that, I'm sure. 

On the PCGS boards, there were a few old-timers who talked about buying boxes of Ikes and claim that they found numerous PLs across several dates. It isn't a specimen - it's just a happy accident. 

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47 minutes ago, RWB said:

This might help a little.

 

19741024 dollar die life-1_Page_2.jpg

Thanks Roger and I think you have given me some unintended insight in navigating National Archives.

By the way interesting note that proofs of that era were struck twice.

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1 hour ago, MarkFeld said:

Jason, I’m under the impression that you’re extremely well versed on PL coins. That said, based just upon the video, I wouldn’t expect the coin to receive a PL designation. Do you feel that the video accurately conveys the degree of reflectiveness?

The video shows that there *is* reflectiveness, better than an image can. But I guess it is not conveying the depth of reflectiveness as well as I would want. In hand, you would have no question that this is fully PL. 

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4 minutes ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

The video shows that there *is* reflectiveness, better than an image can. But I guess it is not conveying the depth of reflectiveness as well as I would want. In hand, you would have no question that this is fully PL. 

I see fully polished dies with some frosted lettering. Would you rule out proof dies ?

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13 minutes ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

The video shows that there *is* reflectiveness, better than an image can. But I guess it is not conveying the depth of reflectiveness as well as I would want. In hand, you would have no question that this is fully PL. 

I’ll take your word for it. Good luck.

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"By the way interesting note that proofs of that era were struck twice."

What is omitted from the files is that the first strike was with regular dies and the second with and "extra ugly die." This enhanced the awful design and engraving quality in hopes that no one would ever bother to counterfeit the dollars. :)

PS: There is considerable material on Eisenhower dollars in the archives. Much of the silliness would be cleared up if Ike fans would bother to look at the documents before speculating about "prototype" and "experimental"  or "specimen" coins. (OK -- I realize this is common behavior for coin collectors: speculate on what one imagines they see. But we have the means to get to most of the truth and it is saddening to see so much effort wasted.)

PPS: Experiments were not done with mintmarked dies. The so-called "prototype dollars" have "S" mintmarks. They were production dies.

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1 hour ago, numisport said:

I see fully polished dies with some frosted lettering. Would you rule out proof dies ?

No, this is not from proof dies. If you look closely at the globe, you'll notice that the proofs are of a different reverse design variety. My coin is unquestionably from a business strike type die. 

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