The FS-103 and the closely related 1971S silver proof family 1 sibling DDO dies.

Better attribution and identification though MMP.

The FS-103 is the Cherry Picker’s guide identification of one of the most significant DDOs of the 1971S silver proof production.  Cross-references to this die pairing include:

Wexler documented the WDDO-008 (and its close siblings WDDO-009, WDDO-010, and WDDO-011), however, exact Mint Mark Placement (MMP) was not documented for each obverse die. However, Wexler did describe that the DDR (WDDR-011) associated with the WDDO-008 demonstrated tripling that was identifiable in multiple locations.  (The Authoritative Reference on Eisenhower Dollars, 2nd ed., 2007, pgs 84-87)

Wiles’ documentation of the DDO-003 / DDR-001 also fails to provide exact MMP.  Like Wexler, Wiles also described that the DDR (DDR-001) associated with the DDO-003 demonstrated tripling that was identifiable in multiple locations. (CONECA Attribution Guide to Eisenhower Dollar Die Varieties, 1997, pgs 32&47)

Ezerman provided perhaps the most detailed discussion of the FS-103 and its siblings, but again, MMP was not documented.  Tripling was not described or demonstrated on the reverse at any point, but instead it is stated that the reverse is Wexler’s WDDR-011.  In Ezerman’s text, he also references a possible fifth sibling found by Don March and cross-referenced to Wiles’ DDO-026. (Collectible Ike Varieties - Facts, Photos, Theories, 2011, Chapter 15, pgs 1-12)

Cherry Picker’s Guide Lists the FS-103 (formerly 015.8) as the same as CONECA (Wiles’) DDO-003.  No MMP photo is provided.  The only comment regarding the reverse is that it is a “minor double-die reverse”.  (Cherrypickers Guide, 2012, p 391)

Kalantzis provided photos of Richard Carlson’s original plate 15.8 coin (the former CPG designation FS-15.8, now FS-103) on a) the IDDD web site and b) in his book (IDDD Eisenhower Doubled Dies Top 25 and RPM Varieties, 2014, pgs 4-5).  Unfortunately, the MMP in the photo formerly posted on the website and the MMP in the photo in his book did not match.  The latest posting of MMP was in the book, so perhaps that is accurate to the Carlson plate coin?  Perhaps he attributed two coins with a FS-103 look-alike obverse and associated TDR, but with separate MMP?  In the book, he confirm tripling in multiple locations on the reverse.

In summary, from review of published sources, it appears that the true FS-103 has

MMP Study of PCGS Attributed FS-103 Coins

Photos of various PCGS-attributed FS-103 coins (51.5%, or 17 total out of 33 attributed by PCGS as of January 2018) were obtained for application of MMP lines (developed by Tom Kalantzis).  The sources were from eBay photos, Great Collection photos, privately submitted photos, and photos of coins in my private collection.

Four distinct MMPs (dies) were found in these 29 PCGS-attributed FS-103 coins:


(the 7-F line passes through the tail of the S and tip of the upper loop of the S)

16375225  MMP 1.jpg



(The 7-F line touches only the lower loop of S - the lowest of the four MMPs)

32979503  MMP 2.jpg



(The 7-F line bisects the S the highest of the four MMPs)

31866978 MMP 3.jpg


(the 7-F line passes through the lower and upper tips of the S and is more clockwise rotated than MMP1)

32231984 MMP4.jpg

For comparison, the Kalantzis MMP for the FS-103 originally posted on the IDDD website is identical to MMP1:

IDDD website photo (Anacs 4848186 PF64) with MMP lines added (yellow 7 line extrapolated)  

1a revised IDDD sample 103 MMP.jpg

Yet the MMP photo for the FS-103 in Kalantzis’ book (IDDD Eisenhower Doubled Dies Top 25 and RPM Varieties, 2014, pg 5) is identical to MMP 2.

The distribution of the MMPs of PCGS-attributed FS-103 coins is as follows (by PCGS certification number):



(possibly 33502939 - eBay photos less than ideal)



















Note: 14545936 PCGS PR63 not included, as it was not even a proof (was a 1971S SB mis-labeled and mis-attributed - cert verification confirms that is now re-holdered as a MS63 no longer attributed as a FS-103)

Therefore, of 33 coins attributed by PCGS (as of 1/5/2018) as FS-103, 17 (51.5%) were reviewed for MMP.  The MMP for these 14 coins were distributed across 4 MMPs, or, in other words, four separate dies were represented.  Of the 17, possible 2 (12%) were MMP1, 8 (47%) were MMP2, 6 (35%) were MMP3, and 1 (6%) was MMP4.

These numbers are alarming.  Are they all true FS-103s?

Study of PCGS-attributed FS-103 coins in hand

At least one example of each MMP appearing in a PCGS-attributed FS-103 holder was examined in hand.  The distribution coins in PCGS-attributed FS-103 holders examined in hand is as follows: MMP1 - 1 coin, MMP2 - 2 coins, MMP3 - 4 coins, MMP4 - 1 coin.  

Of these coins, only MMP1 and MMP2 had tripling on the reverse!  The small spread tripling was seen in AR in DOLLAR, stars 10-13, FG (better in MMP2), the olive leaf furthest right, and RICA in AMERICA (better in MMP1).

Further, it appears that the obverse die for MMP2 was initially paired to a common DDR (Wexler’s WH1-DDR), since this is the die marriage that is seen in earlier obverse die stages.  However, in later obverse die stages, the obverse die was re-paired in a second die marriage to the reverse die bearing the TDR!  (The earlier die marriage demonstrates obverse (Y) and reverse (UNITED) die cracks.)  (MMP2 DMR1 = DDR, MMP2 DMR2 = TDR)

The reverse on MMP3 and MMP4 has small spread doubling seen in AR and some of stars 10-13, which washes out with die state progression.  These are likely consistent with Wexler’s WH1-DDR.

Clearly, MMP3 and MMP4 are not true FS-103 coins, by virtue of the absence of tripling on the reverse.  However, their DDO is so similar to that seen in MMP1 and MMP2, they are clearly members of the 1971S SP Family 1 DDO die family.

It is also clear that reliable, consistent, attribution of the FS-103 has not been achieved by at least one TPG.  Consequently, we either accept the practice of any of the siblings being attributed as a FS-103, or we include requisite tripling on the reverse, and MMP lines as markers for the die siblings to enhance our ability to more reliably, consistently, attribute the true FS-103.

But which is the true FS-103 between MMP1 and MMP2?  They both have tripling on their reverse.  Tom Kalantzis has, at separate times, listed each MMP as the FS-103.  Are there significant differences in the nature and the spread of the DDO?

Back to the references for additional clues:

1) the obverse doubling is very similar and quite challenging to differentiate among the Family 1 siblings.  Ezerman focuses on subtle differences in the notching of the vertical staff of the G in GOD, with the FS-103 / WDDO-008 being the most robust, and the WDDO-010 and WDDO-011 having the least robust notching.  Kalantzis focuses more on the 9, with the FS-103 / IDDDO-8 having “UN-broken serif with both points or bulbs being round and the bottom bulb being more robust and bigger”.  Wexler describes the FS-103 / WDDO-008 as being pared to WDDR-011, a TDR, while the WDDO-009, WDDO-010, and WDDO-011 were described as being paired to a WH1 DDR.  Wexler further differentiates the siblings by commenting that “The doubling on the center bar of the E of WE is obviously different between DDO-009, DDO-010, and DDO-011.”

2) markers such as die gouges, scratches, and die cracks are less reliable as stable markers in Eisenhower proofs due to die polishing and frosting retreatments.  Only Kalantzis makes mention of such markers in describing Richard Carlson’s original plate 15.8 coin.

After reviewing one MMP1 coin and one MMP2 coin with the prior reference materials in mind, there is strong support that the MMP1 coin matches the Carlson plate 15.8  FS-103 best:

Therefore, it is likely that coins with MMP1 match Richard Carlson’s original plate 15.8 coin FS-103.  However, without having the Carlson plate coin in hand, or a confirmed photo of its obverse / MMP area, the assumption that MMP1 is a match is just that - an assumption (albeit a fairly well supported one).  At this point, however, we have two very similar obverses (MMP1 and MMP2) with impressive doubling paired to reverses with clear tripling.  Until the MMP on Carlson’s coin can be confirmed, I suggest continuing to attribute both MMP1 and MMP2 coins as FS-103.

MMP3 and MMP4 coins, which account for 50% of the 14 PCGS-attributed FS-103 coins examined for MMP, should not continue to be attributed as FS-103s, yet are collectible as siblings that would complete a 1971S SP DDO Family 1 set.  Besides the MMP3 and MMP4 coins, I have identified a 5th and 6th die in 1971S SP DDO Family 1 (Ezerman covered of five siblings in his text).

Photos of FS-103, MMP1

16375225 obverse motto black background.jpg

16375225 obverse motto.jpg

16375225 obverse DWE UST.jpg

16375225 obverse notching staff of G.jpg

16375225 obverse 19.jpg

16375225 obverse 9.jpg

16375225 obverse 9 with marker for inside loop.jpg

16375225 obverse 71.jpg

16375225 obverse right base neck.jpg

16375225 obverse left base neck.jpg

16375225 obverse pupil doubling and die gouge.jpg

16375225 Vaile gouges near eye.jpg

16375225 Vaile gouges eyelid.jpg

16375225 obverse hair doubling die gouge.jpg

16375225 obverse L.jpg

16375225 obverse I.jpg

16375225 obverse B.jpg

16375225 obverse E.jpg

16375225 obverse R peg leg.jpg

16375225 obverse T.jpg

16375225 obverse Y.jpg

MMP2 TDR A.jpg

MMP2 TDR R.jpg

MMP2 TDR leaf and FG.jpg

16375225 reverse notchin in leaves and FG.jpg

16375225 reverse tripling inside loop of G in FG.jpg

16375225 reverse tripling in star 13.jpg

MMP2 TDR star 10.jpg

16375225 reverse tripling in notch of R.jpg

16375225 Vaile gouge left wing feather.jpg

16375225 Vaile gouge near beak.jpg

1971S SP DDO Family 1 Siblings

In addition to the aforementioned PCGS coins, I have also been able to examine in hand six coins in ANACS holders, attributed by Tom Kalantzis, that have DDO patterns that place them in 1971S DDO Family 1:

        MMP2                 ANACS 4452491        attributed WDDR-016, IDDDO-116/IDDDR-94

        MMP3                ANACS 4452493        attributed IDDDO-119/IDDDR104

        MMP3                ANACS 5120095        attributed IDDDO-82/IDDDR-67

        MMP6                ANACS 4452492        attributed IDDDO-117/IDDDR-102

        MMP7                ANACS 4397694        attributed IDDDO-162

        MMP7                ANACS 5122535        attributed IDDDO-164

The MMP2 coin in the ANACS holder attributed WDDR-016, IDDDO-116/IDDDR-94                                has a TDR.  It is telling that Tom Kalantzis did not attribute the coin as IDDDO-8, providing further indirect evidence that MMP1 is the true FS-103, and MMP2 an attributable sibling (as long as it is the later die mariage version of MMP2 with the TDR).

MMP3 and MMP4 did not match the likely true FS-103 (MMP1) above and do not have a TDR, but unfortunately have ended up in PCGS FS-103 attributed holders.  Nevertheless, they likely each represent one of the known FS-103 1971S SP DDO Family 1 siblings (Wexler WDDO-009, WDDO-010, WDDO-011, or the Don March coin cross-referenced to Wiles’ DDO-026).  

In addition, I have studied three other coins that match the 1971S S DDO Family 1 pattern, but have not been attributed as FS-103, and have different MMP than MMP 1, 2, 3, or 4.   They are: 1) MMP5, is in a PCGS holder (not FS-103 attributed, labeled simply “DDO”), 2) MMP6, in an ANACS holder attributed IDDDO-117/IDDDR-102, and 3) MMP7, in ANACS holders attributed IDDDO-162 and IDDDO-164.

MMP5  (not FS-103 attributed, but same 1971S SP Family 1 DDO pattern)

33265597 MMPxx.jpg

MMP6 (not FS-103 attributed, but same 1971S SP Family 1 DDO pattern)

2 ANACS 4452492 MMP6..jpg

Note: MMP6 is very close to that seen in MMP4, however, MMP lies 0.84mm from the bust, while MMP4 lies 0.67mm from the bust.

MMP7 (not FS-103 attributed, but same 1971S SP Family 1 DDO pattern)

IDDDO164 MMP 7.jpg

Therefore, there are seven obverse dies (seven different MMPs) that compose the 1971S SP DDO Family 1.

Matching these seven MMPs to corresponding Wexler and Wiles catalogues is challenging without prior MMP information.  With some degree of uncertainty, based on photos and descriptions by Ezerman and by Wexler, I have attempted to match Wexler catalogue numbers with the known MMPs of the 1971S SP DDO Family 1 look-alike siblings:  

Note: Further study is need to confirm these assumptions!

Additional information regarding the 1971S SP DDO Family1 siblings: