What is a 1964 Special Strike Coins

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money. My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges. I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights. Collecting, for me, is about preserving history and building a community around this shared interest.

Collectors may place a high value on the 1964 Special Strike Coins because they are a significant part of American coinage history.

In addition, these coins offer a glimpse into how the US Mint operated in the past when mintmarks weren’t always indistinguishable on every coin.

This article will discuss this particular coin and what makes them valuable.

What is a 1964 Special Strike Coins?


The 1964 SMS nickel is one of the most uncommon of all Jefferson nickels, and its existence to coin collectors was unknown for nearly thirty years after it was struck.

Lester Merkin, who donated the set, is thought to have purchased it directly from Eva Adams, who served as the Mint Director from 1961 to 1969.

Only 19 1964 SMS nickels have been certified by PCGS, and fewer than twenty are thought to exist still.

‘P’ Cent through the Half Dollar, 1964. Brilliant Choice Uncirculated. Almost all exhibit signs of die refining at the Mint.

The 1c coin is red gold and has planchet striations on the obverse and a fully struck reverse. The 5c resembles a 1941 coin with its pastel iridescence and mirror rim.

The 10c has a satiny surface with faint striations and light russet toning. The 25c has a typical luster underneath a gold tone.

The obverse of the 50c is entirely satiny and has a fair amount of reflection. The coins have sharper strikes than those found on Special Mint Sets.

These coins will likely be produced as a test run to determine the type of finish the Mint would employ from 1965 to 1967.

All told, only a handful of these specially created 1964 half dollars have so far been located, making them both one of the most mysterious and difficult modern US coins to locate and the rarest purpose-made non-error issue of the entire Kennedy series.

The opportunity to purchase these coins is also brief, and they almost always end up in private collections.

This is one occasion where a truly historic coin can be added to a sophisticated collection of 20th-century coins.

The certified grading population is crucial when coming up with any value estimate, just as with high-grade rarities of any vintage.

Why are 1964 Special Strike Coins Valuable to Collectors?


When a coin sells for a surprisingly high price, other sellers will frequently offer similar examples to capitalize on the media attention.

The second proposal received less money than the first. After all, when the second example comes along, one less bidder will probably compete for it in the market.

Since registry sets have brought attention to contemporary issues and major grading services have validated the 1964 SMS strikes, the demand for these 1964 SMS issues has exploded.

The SMS Kennedy half dollar from 1964 is mysterious. It’s unclear how some sets of 1964 coins with the satiny surface texture and sharp detail distinctive of the SMS coins left the Philadelphia Mint.

The Mint sold the Special Mint sets from 1965 to 1967. Stack’s auctions saw the appearance of five-coin sets of 1964 SMS finish coins in the 1990s, and according to Heritage, “it is presumed that the majority of those sets came from New York coin dealer Lester Merkin.”

Is it Worth it to Collect 1964 Special Strike Coins?

The answer is yes. These coins are scarce. According to many experts, there are only 20 to 50 sets in all grades.

Since the mystery surrounding the 1964 SMS coins was only partially resolved by the beginning of 1993, many may have also been damaged, lost, or even thrown away (almost 30 years after they were initially produced).

Even though there are few 1964 SMS coins left, there are still thought to be some that still need to be identified.

Before you go…

We hope you enjoyed learning about these special coins! Do you have any of them in your collection? If you have this in your collection, better hold on to it and make sure to get it appraised!

Check out my next article: “1967 SMS Quarter – Do You Need This in Your Collection?

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