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First Strike and Early ReleasesWe are often asked what does First Strike and/or Early Releases mean on PCGS and NGC coins.
Ian Russell on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 06:51:11 AM
PCGS uses the First Strike term and this applies to coins delivered to be graded in the first 30 days of issue, noting that the coins were made at least in the first 30 days of the issue date. If you have coins in sealed Mint boxes, you can often have these graded First Strike as well.
NGC uses Early Strikes (although prior to Early Strikes, they were also using the term First Strike), and also applies to coins graded in the first 30 days of issue.
Both grading services have recently expanded the coins that they will grade First Strike, which now encompasses several denominations and issues.
Certain years/coins are very hard to locate in First Strike/Early Releases and as such will sell for premiums.