“Full Bands” and “Full Torch” (Buy on eBay) 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 coin grading companies will indicate “FB” or “FT” in addition to the numerical grade for mint state coins which meet certain qualifications.
The grading firm PCGS began attributing Full Bands 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 appear distinct and show full separation. Each line dividing the bands must be full and unbroken.
The competing firm NGC began using their own version of the attribution a few weeks later on April 14, 2003, but termed it Full Torch. In addition to requiring the upper and lower pair of horizontal bands to show full separation, NGC also requires the vertical lines of the torch to be well-defined.
Third party graded Roosevelt Dimes which carry the “FB” or “FT” designation 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.