VDB Coins of Bristol, Va., has brokered the sale of the finest known PCGS-certified set of 1964 Special Mint Set coins in a private transaction.
The five-piece coin set, containing one each of the 1964 SMS cent through half dollar in the finest grade certified by PCGS, traded hands in February for $151,200, including commission, from seller David Schweitz to an anonymous Western collector.
“This same set was recently offered in a major auction where the reserve price was not met. But our client was intensely interested in the set,” said VDB Coins proprietor George Huber.
“My client intends to hold onto this finest known set intact for many years to come.”
The consecutively numbered 1964 SMS set includes: Lincoln cent MS-68 Red PCGS, one of two so graded; Jefferson nickel MS-68 Full Steps PCGS, one of six submissions; Roosevelt dime MS-68 PCGS, one of three; Washington quarter MS-68 PCGS, the only one so graded; and a Kennedy half MS-69 PCGS, the sole finest at PCGS.
“These coins are far rarer than generally thought, particularly the half dollars,” Schweitz said. “We believe they are among the rarest U.S. coins from the second half of the 20th century.”
“The 1964 SMS coins are unknown even to many seasoned numismatists,” said Huber. “They have a surface texture unlike any other U.S. coins. There are more mysteries posed than facts known about them.”
All five denominations show dies that are extensively and haphazardly polished, apparently an intentional texture created by the Mint. The coins show little of the reflectivity of proofs, being rather satiny in appearance, but their squared-off rims, incredible strike sharpness, and excellent preservation identify them as coins that were created and preserved for some special purpose, Huber said.
VDB Coins is interested in developing a complete roster of all surviving 1964 SMS coins to determine their exact rarity as closely as possible. Anyone who owns examples certified by PCGS or NGC is asked to contact VDB Coins at firstname.lastname@example.org. It plans to publish the roster and some coin images on its www.VDBCoins.com website.