Ken Potter's Educational Series ...

Diagnostics Of The 1979-S & 1981-S Proof Coins
How Do I Know If It's a Ty-1 or Ty-2?

by Ken Potter - NLG

   As most collectors know, there are two Mint mark varieties known for both the 1979-S and 1981-S Proof coins with the so-called Type-2 being quite valuable on both dates of the Susan B. Anthony dollar and the 1981-S cent.  The Kennedy halves have also done fairly well for both dates.  The trouble is that many collectors have trouble distinguishing one Mint mark variety from the other.  That is the purpose of this guide!  Good Luck!

1979-S Proof Mint Marks

1979-S Type-1 -- This is the Mint Mark some suggest was placed in use as early as 1968.  It was also used for all business strike 1979-S Susan B. Anthony dollars and the majority of the proof coin mintages for all denominations in 1979.  It is characterized by an indistinct to almost blob-like appearance (extremely blob-like on the later stages). It may come with or without clear fields or "attachments" within the center loops depending on the amount of punching pressure utilized to sink the image into the die and/or the amount of polishing the die receives.  This is the more common variety for the year.


1979-S "Type-2"  This Mint mark was introduced in the later part of 1979 for proof coinage production (and referred to as Ty-2 for this year).   It exhibits large bulbous serifs and rounder center loops than found on the Ty-1.  In spite of the fact that this variety is frequently and inaccurately referred to as "Clear S," it may come with or without clear fields or "attachments" within the center loops depending on the amount of punching pressure utilized to sink the image into the die and/or the amount of polishing the die receives.  It does, however, have a greater tendency to be found with "clearer fields" within the loops than the Ty-1 but this is not a determining factor of type.


1981-S Proof Mint Marks

1981-S "Type-1"  This is the same Mint mark as introduced in the later part of 1979 for proof coinage production (and referred to as Ty-2 for that year).  (It is the first one used in 1981 and is thus designated Ty-1 for that year.)  It exhibits smaller rounded serifs and more oval shaped center loops than found on the Ty-2.  It may come with or without clear fields or "attachments" within the center loops depending on the amount of punching pressure utilized to sink the image into the die and/or the amount of polishing the die receives.  This is the more common variety for the year.


1981-S "Type-2"  This Mint mark was introduced in the later part of 1981 for proof coinage production (and referred to as Ty-2 for this year).   It exhibits large bulbous serifs and rounder center loops than found on the Ty-1.  In spite of the fact that this variety is frequently and inaccurately referred to as "Clear S", it may come with or without clear fields or "attachments" within the center loops depending on the amount of punching pressure utilized to sink the image into the die and/or the amount of polishing the die receives.  It does, however, have a greater tendency to be found with "clearer fields" within the loops than the Ty-1 but this is not a determining factor of type.

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Ken Potter
P.O. Box 760232
Lathrup Village, MI 48076-0232

Phone: 1-(313)255-8907 E-mail: KPotter256@aol.com

Numismatist Since 1959 ~ Serving the Collector Since 1973
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