NGC Releases Designations

NGC offers several special designations to recognize coins received for certification within a specified timeframe or at a particular event. These designations — such as Early Releases and First Releases, First Year of Issue and Show Releases — help capture the popularity of a new release and are paired with special NGC certification labels.

NGC Release Designations should not be confused with grade-modifying designations such as Ultra Cameo, Prooflike, Red Brown and others or the NGC Plus () and Star () Designations . See Strike Characters or NGC Grading Scale for more information about these designations.

Early Releases and First Releases

NGC offers the Early Releases and First Releases designations for select coins received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository within 30 days of the first release of a new coin issue. The terms Early Releases or First Releases will be noted as part of the coin description on the NGC label. Early Releases and First Releases are interchangeable and the same definition and relevant cutoff dates applies to each term.

To qualify for Early Releases or First Releases, a coin must generally be received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository within the first 30 days of the coin’s release. NGC maintains a list of Early Releases and First Releases cutoff dates for US coins and world coins on this website.

A submitter wishing to have a coin designated with the Early Releases or First Releases designation must note this request on the NGC submission form, and additional fees generally apply for the special label and designation verification.

In certain markets, NGC may offer bilingual Early Releases and First Releases labels. The same Early Releases and First Releases definition, cutoff dates and NGC Registry treatment will apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I submit coins for Early Releases or First Releases?

Coins may be submitted by selecting an appropriate NGC grading tier and the Special Label/Releases service option. Specify Early Releases or First Releases under Special Label/Releases. Eligible submitters may also submit coins for Early Releases or First Releases through NGC’s bulk submission services.

What are the cutoff dates for Early Releases and First Releases?

For US coin cutoff dates, click here. For world coin cutoff dates, click here.

What is a release date and how does NGC determine the cutoff dates for Early Releases and First Releases?

NGC calculates the cutoff date for Early Releases and First Releases based on the “release date.” A release date is the day that a new coin issue is first released from a mint. In some cases, the mint posts an official release date; in others, the release date is the first day that a mint actually makes a new coin issue available. The release date is not always the same as the sale date since many mints offer coins for sale before they are released.

Some mints have different release dates for their domestic market and for the international market. In China, for example, coins are generally released domestically several weeks or more before they are released internationally. In these cases, NGC will generally post two cutoff dates on its website — one for submissions received in or from the coin’s country of origin, and one for submissions received in or from all other countries.

For US coin cutoff dates, click here. For world coin cutoff dates, click here.

Do coins need to be accompanied by the original packaging or sealed in the Mint shipping box?

No, coins do not need to be accompanied by original packaging or be shipped in sealed mint boxes, but must arrive before the cutoff dates posted on the NGC website. However, for coins being designated Early Releases or First Releases based on being part of a particular set released by a mint, a different requirement may apply. (See further questions below.)

How many Early Releases and First Releases coins has NGC graded?

Early Releases and First Releases are listed separately in the NGC Census and appear when the variety icon beneath a non-designated issue is clicked.

Are Early Releases and First Releases coins eligible for inclusion in the NGC Registry?

Yes, Early Releases and First Releases coins are eligible for inclusion in the popular NGC Registry. Early Releases and First Releases coins receive the same point score as non-designated issues.

What coins are eligible for the Early Releases and First Releases designations?

Only certain coins and/or sets will be designated Early Releases or First Releases by NGC. View a list of eligible US coins and cutoff dates and a list of eligible world coins and cutoff dates. See the following question for an explanation of NGC’s policy for coins released in various sets at different times.

Regular submissions of the following coins to NGC in the United States are not eligible for the First Releases designation: Mint State American Silver Eagles, Mint State American Gold Eagles, Mint State Chinese Silver Pandas and Mint State Chinese Gold Pandas. The First Releases designation may be made available for these coins to select bulk submitters only.

How does NGC assign the Early Releases and First Releases designations if the same coin is released in various sets at different times throughout the year?

The US Mint and other world mints often release coins individually and in various sets at different times throughout the year. For example, a coin may be released individually and later released as part of a multiple coin set.

NGC will start the Early Releases/First Releases period when a coin is first released, whether released individually or in a set, and NGC will give such coin a standard description on the NGC certification label. Subsequent releases of that coin in different sets or packaging may, at NGC’s sole discretion, receive the Early Releases or First Releases designations with set description, provided NGC can sufficiently determine that the coin was received by NGC within 30 days of that particular set’s release. This determination will generally require that coins be received in the sealed and postmarked shipping box from the mint. These subsequent releases will be listed separately in the NGC Census. Due to the additional verification required, NGC will generally assign the Early Releases or First Releases designations on subsequent releases only if these coins are submitted through NGC’s bulk submission program.

NGC maintains a list of Early Releases and First Releases cutoff dates for US coins and world coins on its website. If a coin is released in multiple sets or packaging, NGC will post cutoff dates for the specific set, if eligible for the Early Releases and First Releases designations. A notation will be made on the list of cutoff dates to indicate which sets are accepted only through NGC’s bulk submission program.

First Day of Issue

NGC offers the First Day of Issue designation for select coins that are received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository within one day of the first release of a new coin issue. In most cases, NGC will make the First Day of Issue designation available only to submitters of bulk quantities or at select trade shows. In cases where the First Day of Issue designation will be available instead to all submitters, an article with submission instructions and grading fees will be posted to the NGC website prior to a coin’s release. In all cases, the First Day of Issue designation is available only by special request and will require a higher grading fee.

To qualify for First Day of Issue, coins must be received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository by the release date or on the business day immediately following the release date. For coins that are shipped to NGC by a submitter, the coins must arrive at NGC in the sealed mint shipping box bearing a postmark date that is identical to the release date and arrive at NGC by overnight mail on the business day following the submitter’s receipt of the package from the mint.

Coins still sealed in US Mint-issue First Day Covers are eligible for the First Day of Issue designation, but private issue covers are not accepted for this designation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many First Day of Issue coins has NGC graded?

First Day of Issue is listed separately in the NGC Census and appears when the variety icon beneath a non-designated issue is clicked.

Are First Day of Issue coins eligible for inclusion in the NGC Registry?

Yes, First Day of Issue coins are eligible for inclusion in the popular NGC Registry. First Day of Issue coins receive the same point score as non-designated issues.

What coins are eligible for the First Day of Issue designation?

Only certain coins and/or sets will be designated First Day of Issue by NGC. This designation is generally offered only for bulk submissions or at trade shows. When this designation is available for all submitters of a particular coin an article will be posted to the NGC website with submission instructions.

Show Releases

NGC may occasionally offer a Show Releases designation for select coins purchased from a mint’s booth at a trade show and then submitted to NGC at the same trade show. This designation is generally reserved for coins with a release date that coincides with the trade show or a release date shortly before the start of the trade show.

The designation will typically state the name of the trade show followed by Show Releases or a variation that reflects the coin’s type and release date. Past designations have included ANA Inaugural Releases (for Clad and Gold 50th Anniversary Kennedy coins sold by the US Mint at the August 2014 ANA show), Opening Day Releases (for Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins sold by the US Mint at the March 2014 Baltimore show) and FUN Show Releases (for 2015-W Proof Silver Eagles sold at the January 2015 FUN show). For a complete list, click here.

If NGC will offer a special designation at a trade show, NGC will post an article on its website that lists the eligible coin(s), the designation offered and any special submission instructions. The mint’s sales receipt must accompany coins that are submitted for a Show Releases designation.

Coins with a Show Releases designation will be listed separately in the NGC Census and appear when the variety icon beneath a non-designated issue is clicked.

Alternatively, NGC may list the name of a trade show without the term “Releases” for coins that do not qualify for the “Show Releases” designation. This notation (sometimes called a “pedigree”) is used to commemorate the show and does not necessarily mean that the coins were purchased at the show. For example, the notation may be used for samples that will be given away at the show or for coins that will be sold by a dealer at the show. This notation is generally used only for select bulk submissions. In the NGC Census it is grouped with the non-designated issues and not listed separately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does NGC offer a Show Releases designation for world coins?

NGC will from time to time offer a “Show Releases” designation for world coins that have a release date that coincides with the trade show or a release date shortly before the start of the trade show.

NGC may note the name of a particular trade show on the NGC certification label (without the term “Releases”) but, unlike US coins, this notation does not necessarily indicate that these coins were sold at that trade show.

How many Show Releases coins has NGC graded?

Coins with Show Releases designations are listed separately in the NGC Census and appear when the variety icon beneath a non-designated issue is clicked. Coins with show pedigrees (e.g. coins labeled with the name of the show but not the term “Releases”) are not listed separately in the NGC Census and are grouped together with non-designated issues.

Are Show Releases coins eligible for inclusion in the NGC Registry?

Yes, Show Releases coins are eligible for inclusion in the popular NGC Registry. Show Releases coins receive the same point score as non-designated issues.

Numbered “First Struck” Editions

NGC will designate coins that are verified to be among the first struck by a mint. These coins must be accompanied by official mint documentation that identifies that this group of coins was the first struck. The NGC certification label will indicate that the encapsulated coin is one of the first struck by the mint and state the total size of the “first struck” edition (e.g. One of First 1000 Struck or One of First 50,000 Struck). This designation is available only for select bulk submissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Numbered First Struck Editions listed in the NGC Census?

NGC may list Numbered First Struck Editions separately in the NGC Census when the variety icon beneath the non-designated issue is clicked or it may group Numbered First Struck Editions into the population for the non-designation issue.

Are Numbered First Struck Editions eligible for inclusion in the NGC Registry?

Yes, Numbered First Struck Editions are eligible for inclusion in the popular NGC Registry. Numbered First Struck Editions receive the same point score as non-designated issues.

First Year of Issue

NGC offers a special "First Year of Issue" label for use with many 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 or red with the words FIRST YEAR OF ISSUE at the bottom. Additional certification fees apply, and no supplementary documentation or packing is required when submitting coins for this designation.

Click here for a list of coins eligible for the First Year of Issue label >

First Day Ceremony (US coins only)

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 and the coins that they wish to submit 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 Strike Ceremony (US coins only)

When the US Mint releases a new coinage design, a special event is sometimes held during which notable figures related to that coinage are invited to strike the first of these coins. This has been used on States Quarters and other circulating and commemorative issues. NGC will use the term First Strike on the NGC certification label to indicate that the encapsulated coin was struck during a first strike ceremony at the US Mint. Additional supporting documentation or other substantiation will be required for NGC to verify that the coin was struck at a first strike ceremony.

The First Strike designation is not to be confused with the First Strikes designation, which was discontinued after 2006.

First Strikes (Discontinued)

NGC may list Numbered First Struck Editions separately in the NGC Census when the variety icon beneath the non-designated issue is clicked or it may group Numbered First Struck Editions into the population for the non-designation issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the US Mint sell “First Strike” coins?

The US Mint does not currently use the term “First Strike” on any coins that it sells. The US Mint announcement on “First Strike” coinage can be viewed on its website.