“Full Bands” or “Full Torch” are grading designations which can be applied to circulation strike Roosevelt Dimes. In general, the attribution indicates a coin with a strong, well defined strike, as evidenced by full details of the torch located on the reverse of the coin.
The major third party grading companies will indicate “FB” or “FT” in addition to the numerical grade for mint state coins which meet certain qualifications.
PCGS starting attributing the “Full Bands” or “FB” for Roosevelt Dimes on April 1, 2003, citing demand for the designation from collectors. The PCGS designation requires that both the upper and lower pair of bands on the torch to appear distinct and show full separation. The line dividing the bands must be full and unbroken.
NGC began using their own version of the attribution a few weeks later on April 14, 2003, but termed it “Full Torch” or “FT.” Their criteria for the designation are somewhat different than PCGS’s and arguably more strict. In addition to requiring the upper and lower pair of horizontal bands to show full separation, NGC also requires that the vertical lines of the torch must be defined.
Third party graded Roosevelt Dimes which carry “FT” or “FB” are valued at a premium to examples without the designation. For some dates where fully struck coins are rare, the designation can drive substantial premiums.