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Thread: 1969-D No FG FS-901 Debacle

  1. Question 1969-D No FG FS-901 Debacle

    I had opened up a bag of 5000 1969-D Lincoln cents about a year ago. My intention was to cherry pick out a handful of higher graded coins and submit them to a Third Party Grading (TPG) service. I took my time and I was in no rush. I did notice I had quite a few "floating roof" and potentially the No FG FS-901 variety. I looked them up in the Cherry Pickers guide to see that they were listed, some where around 30 bucks a piece. As of late, I looked them up at a few TPG sites and they are now going to close to 8 times that value.

    Personally, I think all the hype started with the Close AM and Far AM varieties. Add in the 1988/89 wrong FG in the mix, and people can relate to something simple and they can comprehend this. So the popularity of the 1969-D No FG FS-901 took off in pricing. Most people I have talked to believe this to be a simple die polishing issue, or a grease filled die. I too don't believe it to be a true variety as the initials were originally there in the first place. Its a debate at most of the shows I attend and I offer my opinion on the situation. To me, its simply something that was once there, but now has been polished or the area is filled with grease or copper chips. In the coin collecting business, its all about supply and demand, and going with what the people feel confident in recognizing and collecting. There are a bunch of collectors who are quite uncomfortable with errors and varieties, with some only buying slabbed coins if they wish to collect that special piece.

    In my case, I went through the bag of 1969-D Lincoln cents and pulled out approximately 750-800 examples. Of these examples, I wanted to scrutinize the potential No FG coins to the Nth degree. But I quickly stopped and asked myself, ok, what is a winner when it comes to "No FG" ? I went to one TPG site. They had an example of a MS-65 1969-D No FG FS-901 and when I downloaded the photo and zoomed in, I could faintly see part of the FG. I thought to myself, this has to be quite subjective as to how much of the "FG" is left in order to qualify as a No FG.

    At most grading companies, they tend to use a magnification power of 10x to look at most coins. In this case, that's probably spot on to look for a 1969-D No FG FS-901. I personally have tried higher magnifications and all they do is wash out, or over magnify the area. So, I decided to grab my Canon Camera, put on a macro ring and attach it to the camera ready board I have and shoot some photos.

    First of all, I went through all 800 examples I had of the 1969-D No FG FS-901 coins. I created three containers; Bad, Good, Best. In the photos below, I have broken these photos down into the same.

    Let us take nothing for granted. I do not assume that everyone knows what area on the Lincoln Cent Memorial I am talking about, So Lets show people a nice strong designers initials, also known as "FG". I have added an arrow for easy location.

    1969-D with Strong FG.jpg


    Now lets look at two candidates, VICE three, since I can only show 8 photos. The first photo will be from a set which I call bad - I know this one will not pass the FS-901 test, since I can see 75% of the G and the north-south leg of the F.

    1969-D-No-FG-Bad-002.jpg


    Below, are two separate examples.

    Mind you, the TPG company is NOT going to look at this coin at only one angle, or one type of lighting. They will try to debunk the potential coin as not good enough to be a No FG. So, if your thinking of hunting for or sending in examples of this 1969-D No FG FS-901, make sure you look pretty close at the coins with a device that's pretty close to 10x magnification.

    For all the two examples, I will leave the lighting exactly the same. When I move the lighting to enhance the FG area, I will try to remember to tell you about it.



    The first candidate is a "possible" for a No FG. Here is the coin with the original lighting.

    1969-d-possible-no-fg.jpg

    Again, under a normal view, it looks great. Here I brought the light extremely close to the coin, and you can barely make out an extremely weak FG. Maybe on a Good day this coin may pass as a "No FG".

    1969-d-possible-no-fg-002.jpg


    But adjusting angles and lighting can reveal a lot. In some of the photos below, I have place 4 or 5 pieces of 2x2 paper that come with the plastic 2x2 flips. If you see white under a coin vice the plastic table top, the coin has been angled towards the light. This is still coin number two below. To me, with a closer light and an angled coin, I would not see this as a No FG since I can somewhat make out the FG. The last photo of coin is below.

    1969-d-possible-no-fg-003.jpg

    So far, this process have removed about 750 of the 800 from contention. I may be a bit too picky and analytical, but I believe in order to get the FS-901 nod, the FG really needs to be almost gone. I am sure there are other examples that have barely a trace of the FG left. One of the TPG sites has a No FG example with strong die scratch marks above the designers initials, up near the word AMERICA.

    For this last example, its probably 50 of these, and these may end up getting the FS-901 nod. Same process, the coin in normal light is first. Coin two is below.

    1969-d-good-no-fg-001.jpg

    I took the lighting off its stand and put it real close to coin #3, like I did for coin #2. Here is what I ended up seeing. The coin is below.

    1969-d-good-no-fg-002.jpg

    Since I am really picky - and so are the TPG's, and want this to be a winner, I added the same 5 pieces of paper from the 2x2 plastic flips and kept the light extremely close to the coin. Below is the last image for coin two.

    1969-d-good-no-fg-003.jpg

    The image above probably shows 10%, or even 5% of what a normal FG would show. There is no part of the F or G that is clearly there. The remnants are basically very small humps that can be seen only with strong lighting and a proper angle.
    This has a good chance coming back as a FS-901, No FG, but again, this sort of issue is purely subjective. The coins I have, I believe are NOT from the same die as the one the TPG's have found, but there comes a time when other dies can exhibit the same characteristics of the one TPG's have certified as a 1969-D No FG FS-901.

    This, issue - for lack of anything better to call it, goes for close to $200.00 in MS-63 on one of the TPG sites. Auction houses have some of these in the neighborhood of $250.00 or more.

    IT will take a steady eye and an honest attribution of the coin to merit if the TPG company will give you the nod and certify the coin as a true FS-901.

    If you have any that have come back as a FS-901 from a TPG, let me know !
    Last edited by MintErrors; 07-03-2017 at 12:58 AM.
    Gary Kozera
    CONECA State Representative for Virginia
    Website: http://www.minterrors.org
    Forums:http://minterrors.org/index.php?/forums/
    Auction House: http://auctions.minterrors.org
    Store: http://minterrors.org/index.php?/store/

  2. Default

    From what I've heard on these, the price guide has gone way down on them .
    If the early strike ( stage ) showed the designer signature missing .

    In my eyes, then it would be something ...

  3. Default

    I agree, if any of these were EDS (early die state/stage) then it would be more meaningful.

    To the seasoned collector, they have a more focused, selective taste of what they collect.

    There are a few out there that want to collect oddities like this, so I will give in and probably send a few in to a TPG.

    I don't plan on getting rich from these, If they sell, they pay for the 1969-D bag.

    The MS-65 example at PCGS, to me shows an EDS or early MDS coin, but I honestly believe i can see the same style hump on theirs as well.

    Thanks for the comment Ski, happy hunting !
    Gary Kozera
    CONECA State Representative for Virginia
    Website: http://www.minterrors.org
    Forums:http://minterrors.org/index.php?/forums/
    Auction House: http://auctions.minterrors.org
    Store: http://minterrors.org/index.php?/store/

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MintErrors View Post
    I agree, if any of these were EDS (early die state/stage) then it would be more meaningful.

    To the seasoned collector, they have a more focused, selective taste of what they collect.

    There are a few out there that want to collect oddities like this, so I will give in and probably send a few in to a TPG.

    I don't plan on getting rich from these, If they sell, they pay for the 1969-D bag.

    The MS-65 example at PCGS, to me shows an EDS or early MDS coin, but I honestly believe i can see the same style hump on theirs as well.

    Thanks for the comment Ski, happy hunting !
    And the floating roof too ...

  5. Default

    I went through all the rolls I had. I came up with about a roll and a half out of many that you cannot see the designers' initials. If I need something to fill my quota of coins I send off to a TPG service, I'll probably throw a few of these in there to see what they come back as. If I can find the photos I took of the no FG ones I will upload them
    Gary Kozera
    CONECA State Representative for Virginia
    Website: http://www.minterrors.org
    Forums:http://minterrors.org/index.php?/forums/
    Auction House: http://auctions.minterrors.org
    Store: http://minterrors.org/index.php?/store/

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