slybluenote's Blog

12 Sep 2020

A Tribute

Coins-United States | slybluenote

Top O' the morning folks!

As the title indicates, this blog is going to be about quality. On 4 Sept., 2020 I decided to purchase a Kennedy Half set from GovMint.com to celebrate the "Granite Lady" and my shadow. In my humble opinion, the San Francisco mint rivals the West Point mint when it comes to turning out a quality product. When I saw this set of 5 "Decades of Kennedy Half dollars" it reminded me of my Lil Jackson, and I thought to myself, this would be an appropriate tribute to his short life in this world. We got Jackson from Geneva, N.Y. when he was just 6 weeks old. You could hold him in the palm of your hand. My daughter wanted to hold him on the ride home which was a good 45 minutes from our house. It took me about a month to get him to come to me when I called him by name. Such is the life of a new puppy.

Since I'm a relatively new collector, I really wasn't aware that there was a mint at West Point, N.Y. I only own 1 coin from this mint. I bought it for comparison during grading exercises. It is a 2020-W, PCGS graded, MS-70, First Strike, Silver dollar which I previewed in a previous blog. It's a beautiful coin and well made. As most folks on here know, I started collecting Kennedy half dollars in Dec. of 2019. When I got my first San Francisco Kennedy, I could tell that the quality of this coin was also impressive. You can certainly tell that it's NOT a business strike coin. The "Granite Lady", as the San Francisco mint is often called is a historic building. It appears that the people of this city are attempting to restore it to pristine condition. It was interesting reading about it on their website:https://thesanfranciscomint.com/info/. As far as I can tell, the major difference between W. Point coins and San Francisco coins is the price. I can afford a "S" coin, but I would need to save up some money for a "W" coin. The coins in this set are a 1969, 1979, 1981, 1991, and a 2005 and all are well made and will fit nicely into my collection. This is just a part of my numismatic education so far.

As always, stay safe, HEALTHY, and coronavirus free by wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently! Talk to everyone again soon!

Correction: I was just now sitting here thinking and read CentSearchers comment. I have 3 West Point, N.Y. pieces. The other 2 are the Lincoln cent which I received in the 2019 Silver proof set and the Jefferson nickel which I received in the 2020 Silver proof set. I stand corrected. "Just the facts mam', just the facts please!"

Charlie aka slybluenote



Level 5

I agree with you, the S mint has a way of chugging out beauties!


Level 7

If I may I forgot one thing about the West Point mint. For years and years they made coinage for the U.S. It was not a mint of the U.S. And the coins they made were put into the mintage of other mints. They never put a W on any of the coins. You can have some in books or your collection and not know. I forget of hand but they did not become a mint of the U.S. Till the 1980's. I always forget that year. Take care.


Level 5

"S" mintmark coins all have better striking than other Mints. Did workers take more time, more pride in their work? It sure appears that way!


Level 5

I want to thank everyone for their kind words and comments. Don't forget to read my correction that I just posted. I had forgot the reverse proof Lincoln cent because it was a bonus piece as was the Jefferson nickel that were included in my Silver proof sets! This brings my total to 3 West Point mint marked coins that I have. Thanks again folks!!

I'm sure he would have loved this. W is such an odd mintmark to me, gives the coin an extra kick in my opinion.


Level 6

Great tribute to Jackson. I always thought the San Francisco mint had the overall best strikes. I love all the different style mint marks for sure. Good thing a lot of the counterfeiters never bothered to learn about that. Hang in there buddy. Nice collection. Thanks.


Level 6

You can learn something new every day. Is what makes the hobby great.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

What a beautiful tribute to Jackson! Its so hard to let go, isn't it? I don't want my critters to outlive me, but I dread the day when its time to say goodbye forever. I didn't realize there was such a price differential between S and W. Can you see a distinct difference in quality?

Long Beard

Level 5

As a "relatively new collector" your obvious passion for numismatics is equal to that of us seasoned collectors. The subject matter of each piece is immeasurable in ways simply by the manner in which it is reflected in words. Truly a pleasure reading them. With the Kennedy half being your relatable favorite, are you aware that these are available in ruthenium? Although labeled a " colorized" coin, I myself find that matte black surface stunning.


Level 5

Just yesterday I got a 2019 West Point Lincoln Cent. My first W, and I had never seen a coin in better condition. Fun fact, they minted less of the uncirculated 2019 W Cents than 1909 S VDB

It's Mokie

Level 6

I know people always fuss about the Carson City Mint and I understand their fuss , but I have always loved the San Francisco Mint since I was young moke looking through my Dad's change in Pennsylvania and hoping to find an elusive S cent. I think I found a 54-S one time in change and my joy was immeasurable. So S marked coins are always my favorite of the mintmarked coins. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Charlie.


Level 5

Nice group of Kennedy halves. I have always like seeing S mint coins. When I was young, it was always exciting finding a S mint wheat. The granite lady is awesome.


Level 7

The month at West Point was making coinage for us years before they became a mint of the United States. No one knew it. They would put the coins in the mintage of other mints.!! Good luck ups. Thanks for sharing. Stay safe


Level 5

The San Francisco mint coins have always caught my eye. My first thought about the "S" mintmark was how hard it was to find them on the older coins I sought out, then how different the "S" looked on so many different strikes, finally how great the quality was on so many of the strikes seemingly from the early 60s until now. Is it just me or did the quality of the strikes of the San Francisco mint seem to improve greatly from about 62 on? Anyway, I will take quality over quantity any time. I have never been to San Francisco but I can assure you that when I make it there, the "Granite Lady" is the first thing on my list. We all lose a part of us when one of our "Children" pass on, remember Jackson with love. Hang in there Pally!

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