Mitch Spivack: The 1971-P ranks among the top three toughest dates in the entire series to obtain in MS67 grade. Just like the 1969-P, everything that could possibly go wrong in your hunt for a superb gem is encountered when you go after this one! Badly scuffed surfaces, poor luster, weak strikes... you name it. I believe I have been through thousands upon thousands of 1971-P coins over the past (3) decades, including huge quantities of fresh U.S. Mint sets and original rolls. You begin to realize just how frustrating a search for an MS67 specimen is after you finish carefully screening a couple hundred fresh 1971 Mint Sets and realize the nicest couple of 1971-P quarters you located might grade MS65 at best! If you get a chance, take a look at a handful or two of 1971 Mint Sets. You should immediately see just how poor quality the 1971-P quarters are in these sets. In my opinion, the 1971-P quarter has a fantastic future for gem and better quality specimens.
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