Compiled by: Mark Trout,
Web master and President of the
Ocala Coin Club
And a collector of type coins, Jefferson nickels, small dollars, Souvenir cards, interesting currencies, F.U.N. tokens and Wooden nickels, and a hodgepodge of most other numismatic collectibles!
The designation Special Mint Set is used for coins that were distributed only in mint or commemorative sets by the US mint but are otherwise similar to the regular business strike coins. Most mint sets contain “Business Strike” coins that are exactly the same as the coins that go to the banks to be used in everyday commerce. SMS coins are only made for distribution to collectors in sets sold by the mint and are special in some fashion.
SMS coins can be found for the years 1965, 1966 and 1967 and include the Lincoln Penny, Jefferson Nickel, Roosevelt Dime, Washington Quarter and Kennedy half-dollar. The half-dollar is a clad composition and contains 40% silver, the same as the business strike coins of those years. During these 3 years the mint suspended proof coin production but due to the demand of collectors they made the SMS coins instead, which are made in slower coin presses using polished dies to give a superior finish. They are not up to the standards of proof coin of other years, yet are better quality than the business strike coins. SMS coins can also be found with a Cameo finish on them, much like the Cameo finish on a proof coin. This is due to the additional care used in striking the SMS coins. And like Cameo proof coins, Cameo SMS coins command a higher price. You will find many of these coins being sold as singles and many of the coin albums have a slot for both the regular business strike and the SMS coins.
In 2005, the mint started producing satin finish coins that are only available in mint sets. These are also SMS coins. Up to that point they used business strike coins to make up the mint sets. This makes 2 distinctly different coins in the P and D mint marked coins as the satin coins are made by superior processes and have the satin finish. As of this time I have not seen that the album companies are adding slots for these SMS coins but it will come due to collector demand. A fully complete set will contain the P mint business strike and P mint satin SMS coins and the same for the D mint coins.
There are a few other SMS coins that have been minted thorough the years. In 1994 there was a matte finish Jefferson nickel that comes in the 1993 Thomas Jefferson 250th anniversary commemorative set and then another Jefferson nickel in 1997 again with a matte finish and issued in the Botanic Garden commemorative set of the same year, both of these coins bear the P mint mark. 1998 s matte finish silver Kennedy half dollar is another SMS coin that was issued in the Robert F and John F Kennedy commemorative set of that year. There may be others but these are the ones I am familiar with.
The Ocala Coin Club
P.O. Box 3091
Ocala, FL 34478
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Coin Treasures and Hoards
Some findings are quite fascinating! The Oscar G. Schilke lived on the shore of Dodge Pond in Niantic, Connecticut, in the 1950's and 1960's. Prominent on the numismatic scene for many years beginning in the early 1930's, he would often set up exhibits in banks. These displays served to attract customers to the various financial institutions, and for Oscar, it meant getting leads which often resulted in his acquiring choice pieces for his collection!
On one particular day a gentleman told him that in the course of doing some work in the Boston harbor area, he came across what was left of and old building which was once the office of a customs agent or toll-taker of some kind. The informant was not certain, but he sparked Oscar's interest. In any event, cemented into the floor of the structure was a little metal vault or strongbox which, through an opening appeared to contain a bunch of old coins.
Oscar went to Boston with the man, and after some effort, pried the top off of the box to reveal an early-day version of a piggy bank! All in a heap were dozens of large cents dated 1826, and no other dates. Grades ranged from worn nearly smooth on up to lustrous uncirculated! Apparantly, some long forgotten person once took a fancy to this particular date and each time an 1826 cent was found in the course of commerce, it was dropped through a slot in the floor into this tiny chamber. Perhaps the original depositor passed away and never told anyone about the cents. Oscar was the finder and
awarded the cents at face value to the contractor who told him about the hole in the floor, old coins, and the metal box!
Where have you found a hoard of coins lately?
An 1826 U.S. Large Cent - Obverse & Reverse
U.S. History Test:
Can you name the four Presidents honored on Mount Rushmore?