What are Masonic pennies?
Masonic “pennies” are actually medals identifying the individual as a member of the Masons. Most of these identify the Masonic lodge and the member. The concept of a medal as a membership card likely began at a time the Masons were a clandestine society. Most are about the diameter of the large British pennies last struck in 1967. There are also Lincoln cents on which a Masonic symbol has been punched. These are souvenirs rather than membership medals.
I sent the cent to Sac dollar from two 2017 [225th Anniversary] Enhanced Coin sets (10 coins) to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation for grading. I was stunned when they all came back Specimen 70. I have had several coins over the years graded 70 but very rarely. Have you heard from others having great luck in having a large number of coins from these sets grade 70?
The NGC census report will indicate if Specimen 70 will be commonplace or not for coins from this set, but it is too soon right now to get sufficient statistics to draw this conclusion. Modern minting technology allows superior quality coins to be produced than was possible years ago, with -69 and -70 grade assignments becoming more commonplace for many recent issues.
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