Light Finish 2018-S Silver Reverse Proof Set Halves Found


Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC) graders have discovered a "light finish" variety of 2018-S Silver Reverse Proof Set Half Dollars.

2018-S Reverse Proof-50c-normal and Light Finish 50c
Left: A normal 2018-S Silver Reverse Proof Set Half Dollar. Right: A “light finish” variety of the 2018-S Silver Reverse Proof Set Half Dollar, which has a lower-contrast finish on the obverse, likely due to its die not being properly prepared.

This variety results from an obverse die that was not properly prepared, imparting a significantly lower-contrast finish on the coin’s fields as compared to the white fields typically seen on Reverse Proof coins.

To create the Reverse Proof finish, the U.S. Mint polishes the die’s design elements and vapor blasts the fields. This imparts a highly reflective finish on the coin’s design elements and a matte finish on the fields, which is the opposite of the Ultra Cameo contrast typically seen on Proof coins. This variety appears to have been caused when the U.S. Mint did not vapor blast one or more of the obverse dies.

The 2018-S Silver Reverse Proof Sets were released by the U.S. Mint on July 23, 2018, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the production of Proof coins at the San Francisco Mint. Only 200,000 sets were made and they are now sold out at the U.S. Mint.

NGC has graded more than 9,000 Silver Reverse Proof Set Half Dollars as of August 31, 2018. Fewer than 10% of these have been attributed "light finish."

"The U.S. Mint is a highly sophisticated operation, so it is always fascinating when varieties such as these occur," said NGC President and Finalizer Rick Montgomery. "This is just another example of how dynamic the world of modern coins is."

The variety is reminiscent of the light finish seen on some America the Beautiful Silver 5 Ounce Specimen coins. On those varieties, however, it is the coin that is not vapor blasted, rather than the dies.

NGC attributes major varieties through its VarietyPlus® attribution service by request for an additional $15 fee. For a list of varieties recognized by NGC, visit

For information about NGC and its grading services, visit

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Would think this is not a bona fide mint error but just a quality control issue


They didnt discover it. Every one its been talking about this for a month, its obvious to see the difference, wonder what took ngc this long to notice it, must be a bunch of color blind people working at ngc. Pcgs its even worst they dont see any difference. This must be one of those things remember the yanny laurel hearing, which some people hear yanny and others hear laurel. This coin is the same thing some people can clearly see the difference while others say they dont see any difference? Really. This coin proves theres a bunch of color… Read more »

Seth Riesling

For an extra $15 you can get this “newly discovered” variety on the slab label by NGC. Such a deal !! LOL


bobby p

the coin store I go to had app. 50 Kennedy graded coins. this was before the TV shows had them. everyone off them would have qualified for a light finish. but not one had a light finish designation.
I didn’t want this coin for my collection. had a week strike my opinion?.
PCGS doesn’t recognize this error. my set is mainly PCGS.
I bought two PCGS 70s. one has a silver back ground the other has a gold back ground there’s is a difference.. and a OGP with light finish?.
anyone else seen these or anything else ?. . .

jeffrey r

Mint error??? Or just something to get the coin collecting public’s attention.

bobby p

The NGC Kennedy error coin I don’t own one graded. maybe I should at $225? I collect Kennedys. NGC graded several off these coins before they decided to say it was a error?. . I really don’t understand how NGC and PCGS are grading these coins. We started with 200,000 Kennedys . I have seen three different Kennedys coins as off today?. Two in PCGS holders. Ricks TV show is printing the number of error coins graded by NGC as I right this. PCGS I don’t understand. Proof / Cameo. / Deep cam?. say something there’s is a difference PCGS… Read more »

Chas Barber

Now you know WHY PCGS is the gold standard……NGC will slab a used rubber for a dime…..a light finish….uh ok

sam tweedy

All these grading services are nothing but a ripoff, their days are numbered can’t wait.

Richard DeKam

I got 3 of the light finish kennedys on my last order i recieved. I gave my sister and brother each one and kept one for myself. I am wondering if i should get it graded or just leave it in the OGP? Does it need to be graded to show that it might be an error coin?

Richard DeKam

Well been thinking about the question i put out here about getting the kennedy graded. I took the advise of Bobby on buying a few graded coins of the reverse Proof coins. I picked up 2 graded 70. I picked up the penny and the thorpe dollar. Hoping since both are firsts as far as having reverse proofs. As far as sending in the Kennedy variance or error i am going to keep it in the OGP they came in. I cant see breaking up the set to get just one coin graded. I didnt get any feedback from anyone… Read more »

Mike Borders

I bought five sets from the mint. Two of the five Kennedy pieces seem to be somewhere between the “extreme” version pictured above, and what it should look like. Time will tell WRT this being a true mint error or just a quality control issue. Still, I wish I had one like the picture above. On the other hand, the “in-between” pieces may come to be worth something as well.

Christopher Williams

I just read about this today from a listing on Ebay. I purchased a set for my collection, but I still have ten sets that I purchased that I have never opened. I wonder if it is worth opening the box with the ten sets?

bobby p

I want a graded coin I buy it graded. my OGPs stays OGP. you have left your box sealed . it will always have that possibility off who knows what’s in there value?. your call. are yall collectors. or hoping you own a box off gold. you watch ebay. I sold my sets. and bought graded coins with the profit. the first day they released them. usually I will keep one OGP set for myself. the only reason I have one OGP light finish? Kennedy coin. I couldn’t sell this coin. There’s no cameo on it. the sets didn’t sell… Read more »

bobby p

there are 3 different versions off this one coin.

Harry Mansfield