The coins are housed in the original case and cardboard sleeve as issued by the Mint. Included are: 1968-S Lincoln Cent; 1968-S Jefferson Nickel; 1968 No S Roosevelt Dime; 1968-S Washington Quarter; and a 1968-S Kennedy Half Dollar, as packaged at the Mint. As Issued, with the cent fully red and with a trace of toning here and there on the other four pieces. The all-important 1968 No S dime exhibits a touch of cameo contrast on the obverse and pale golden iridescence throughout.
The present set is the subject of a front cover article that appeared in the February 23, 1971 edition of Numismatic News Weekly. A copy of that Numismatic News Weekly edition along with several interesting letters and postcard correspondence between the original owner of this set and Cliff Mishler of the paper's staff are included as part of this lot. The 1968 No S Roosevelt dime error was first reported in an article in the May 29, 1968 edition of Coin World.
The 1968 No S dime was the first of the Proof "S-less" varieties to come to light in numismatics. The Philadelphia Mint discontinued striking annual proof sets in 1964, taking a short break, and resuming in 1968 when the sets were first struck in San Francisco. The master dies for the proof coins were sent to the Mint and the mint mark was to be added, however, this did not always happen. While striking these 1968 proof coins, it was observed that the S was not added to the die for the dimes being struck. All of the No S dime coins were thought to have been destroyed. However, a few had already been sealed in Proof sets and were not found until received by their original owners. Similar No S varieties appeared in 1971 on a nickel, and in 1975 on a dime. The only example of the 1975 No S Proof dime to ever sell brought $349,600 in our 2011 ANA Sale, setting a new high mark for modern error pieces at auction. Other No S errors include the dime from 1983, and the cent from 1990. The rarest by far of all of them are the dimes of 1975 and 1968, with the 1968 No S dime ranked #3 in the new book 100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins by Scott Schechter and Jeff Garrett.
By way of insight, we note that PCGS currently lists 20 grading events for this elusive issue, a figure that includes 13 pieces plus an additional seven pieces called "Cameo." NGC currently lists six grading events for the issue, of which two are designated "Cameo." However, as is more typical than not, it is likely that some percentage of these events represents resubmissions of identical coins. Clearly, the number extant is very small.
The offering of this rare Roosevelt dime and its denomination counterparts represents an excellent opportunity to obtain one of the most desirable of all late 20th century coins. Whether you specialize in Roosevelt dimes, Proof sets in general, or just love great American coins, the present lot will hold a special fascination for you. Don't be shy when the bidding starts on this lot or you're likely to find yourself wishing you had been more aggressive. The 1968 No S Proof Roosevelt dime comes to market but infrequently, and the importance of the opportunity offered herein cannot be stressed enough. (Total: 5 coins) Due to the delicate nature of the Numismatic News edition and the accompanying letters/paperwork, these items will not be made available for lot viewing. The article and supporting documents are available to the winning bidder upon request to Stack's Bowers Galleries after the close of the auction.