Other Release Designations

NGC offers several designations for coins with a documented date of release. These special designations are used by NGC when coins are accompanied by documentation or received by NGC for certification within a specified time-window. NGC's conventions for their use are described on this website.

First Day of Issue | First Day Ceremony | First Year of Issue | Show Releases | First Strikes (discontinued) | First Strike Ceremony Coins | Numbered First Strike Editions | FAQ


NGC may from time to time designate FIRST DAY OF ISSUE on select coins that have an official release date. 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, coins must be received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository by the official release date or on the business day immediately following the official 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 official 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 First Day of Issue designation, but private issue covers are not accepted.


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 that they wish to submit coins 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 Year Holder


NGC has developed a special “First Year of Issue” label for use with most modern 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 with the words FIRST YEAR OF ISSUE at bottom and in overprint at top. Additional certification fees apply, and no supplementary documentation or packing is required when submitting coins for this designation.


NGC may from time to time offer a “Show Releases” designation for select coins purchased from the US Mint booth at trade shows and 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 US Mint 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.

Occasionally NGC will offer a pedigree for coins that do not qualify for the “Show Releases” designation. This pedigree is generally offered for coins that are sold by the US Mint at a trade show but do not have a release date that coincides with the trade show. The same submission instructions apply but these coins are not listed separately in the NGC Census.


During 2006, NGC used the term "first strikes" for US bullion coinage shipped from the US Mint within the first month of their official release. This designation is no longer in use by NGC. First strikes designated coins are eligible for inclusion in the NGC Registry and are reported individually on the NGC Census.


There are other types of coins of early release which can be designated by NGC. In some cases the words FIRST STRIKE have appeared on a regular NGC label. This designation indicates that the encapsulated coin was struck during a first strike ceremony at the US Mint and NGC has received appropriate substantiation of the fact. When the US Mint releases a new coinage design, a special event can be held during which notable figures related to that coinage will be invited to strike the first of these coins. This has been used on States Quarters and other circulating and commemorative issues.


On several occasions, NGC has received coinage with official mint documentation stating that a particular group of coins were among the first examples produced. These will be represented on their certification label indicating that the encapsulated coin belongs to this edition. The size of the edition is also included (e.g., ONE OF FIRST 1000 STRUCK; ONE OF FIRST 50,000 STRUCK). This designation can also be applied to foreign coins when satisfactory supporting documentation is available. This designation is available only on bulk submissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does the US Mint sell "first strike" coins?

A. The US Mint does not currently use this term on any coins that it sells. On their website, they state that, "Currently, there is no widely-accepted and standardized numismatic industry definition of 'first strike.'" The designations and terms described on this webpage are conventions developed by NGC for the certification of early release coinage.

The US Mint announcement on "first strike" coinage can be viewed on their website: