Question: What are the Differences Between DMPL, Prooflike, and Semi-Prooflike Morgans?
Morgan Dollars are some of the most beautiful U.S. coins ever made, not only because of their design, but because of the quality of the strike on many of the coins, especially the earlier dates in the series. Such Morgan Dollars are called DMPL (Deep Mirror Proof-Like,) Prooflike (PL,) and Semi-Prooflike, (SPL.) But how do you tell the difference between DMPL, PL, and SPL Morgan Dollars?
Answer: There are a couple of ways to tell the difference between DMPL, PL, and SPL Morgan Dollars. The most common way, and probably the most reliable, is to hold the coin on its edge next to a page of printed matter (such as a newspaper) where you have marked off the inches. You should have good light directed towards the coin (but not directly into the coin such that is reflecting.) Then, look into the coin's mirrored surface and see how far down the scale you can clearly read the text.
DMPL Reflectivity ScaleHere is the scale that denotes the proper designation for the coin, based on reflectivity:
- Semi-Prooflike (SPL) - 1 to 2 inches, devices must be frosted
- Prooflike (PL) - 2 to 4 inches of reflectivity
- Deep Mirror Prooflike (DMPL) - More than 4 inches
- Ultra Prooflike (UPL) - At least 8 inches