The first variety in the America the Beautiful Quarters five-ounce silver coin series has been discovered and will now be recognized by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). The variety, designated “Light Finish” by NGC, is so far seen only on the 2010-P Grand Canyon Specimen issue.
The U.S. Mint strikes two types of five-ounce silver America the Beautiful coins: the bullion version and the collector version. The collector version is vapor-blasted to create a matte finish, a stark contrast to the brilliant surfaces of the bullion issues.
Two distinct surface finishes of the 2010-P Grand Canyon Specimens have been observed: coins with the regular coarse matte finish and coins that have a slightly reflective satin finish. The latter type, designated “Light Finish” by NGC, is distinct from both the bullion version and the standard collector version. This hybrid type is easily identified—it has the same “P” mintmark as the other Specimen issues, but its surfaces are not granular and are more lustrous. The Light Finish coins are also dissimilar from the fully brilliant surfaces of the bullion issue.
It is not known how many of the 27,000 Grand Canyon Specimens struck by the Mint are the Light Finish variety. It is believed that the majority are of the standard matte finish.
Collectors can submit their 2010-P Light Finish Grand Canyon five ounce coins under the VarietyPlus service for designation on the holder. The fee for VarietyPlus is $10.
NGC may be contacted by writing to P.O. Box 4776, Sarasota, FL 34230 or by calling toll-free at 800-NGC-COIN (642-2646). NGC’s email address is [email protected].