Coin and Paper Money Collecting/PROOF COINAGE

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Question
ARE ALL PROOF COINS FROM THE MINT GRADE 70?  A COIN DEALER TRIES TO TELL ME THAT ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE ARE ACTUALLY A 70.  THE MAJORITY WILL BE PR69 OR LESS BUT STILL PASSED OFF AS PROOF COINS.

Answer
Bob:

That dealer is correct. Proof coins in "Uncirculated" condition range from PF60 to PF70. A PF70 coin is deemed to be "perfect". Very few coins that are professionally graded attain that grade. The number of proof strikes from a set of dies on modern day coinage vary from each denomination. The average number of strikes per proof die set can be in the 3000 to 5000 range.

Within that range of proof strikes, many things could happen to affect the strike and grading of the coin. Die pressure, wear, how the dies were set into the press, possible damage from handling or an error in the striking process. Any of these could result in a proof coin being given something other than a PF70 grade.

Proof coins are issued as collector coins and are not expected to reach general circulation. Sometimes proof sets are broken up and individual coins actually find their way into the circulating pool of coinage that we handle in day to day cash transactions. There are some proof coins that are actually worn in circulation and would grade even less than a PF60.  

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

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Ronald Fern

Expertise

I can answer most all questions relating to US coins, tokens, and currency. I'm not strong on world coins or ancients. Primary field of expertise is errors and varieties. Over 55 years experience in coin collecting. Part time dealer since 1976. Employed by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for over 34 years as an Industrial Engineer/Technical Specialist before retiring in 2002.

Experience

Worked weekends for "Lonesome" John in the late 1960's to mid 1970's processing error coins, packaging, and preparing orders. Worked with John Devine and Fred Weinberg on several California Error A Rama's in the early 1970's. Served as display judge at annual Error-A-Rama coin shows. Opened and operated mail order coin business DBA "CAL ERRORS" in 1976. Contributor to Alan Herbert's "Official Price Guide To Mint Errors" and Fivaz/Stanton "Cherrypickers' Guide". Worked Saturdays at Huntington Beach Coin Exchange 1980-1999. Had table and sold coins at a number of coin and gun shows in So CA, AZ and NV. Sell coins, tokens and currency on Facebook. Past "Errorscope" Editor. Presently CONECA Examiner.

Organizations
ANA, CONECA, CWTS, NLG

Publications
Errorscope, Numismatic News, Civil War Token Journal, Error and Variety News

Education/Credentials
AA Degree LBCC pre Engineering, 1964 BS Degree CSULB Ind Technology, 1968

Awards and Honors
1st Place EAR Trophy for Civil War Token Errors, NLG Author of Year Award for best monthly coin column "Error News and Views" in small Numismatic paper, owned and published by Ray Anthony.

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