Proof Sets And Mint Sets: What’s The Difference?

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Are you new to coin collecting ? If so, then you likely have heard about mint sets and validation sets, but probably have no estimate what they are or what the differences are between them.

When I first began collecting coins, telling the differences between what mint sets and proof sets was actually authoritative to me. Because, as you will see here, mint sets and proof sets are very different types of things ! Following is a summary of the differences between mint coin sets and proof coin sets. ..

Proof Sets

Proof sets are sets of coins that have been particularly struck with milled surfaces and, in holocene decades, frosted images. Proof coins with crisp images are called cameo proof coins. Cameo proof, while highly common since the late 1970s, are quite uncommon among proof coins from earlier years. overall, the majority of proof coins struck since 1936 have brilliant, mirror-like surfaces and minute details struck in great clearness. The United States Mint has been making proof coins and proof sets since the nineteenth hundred. however, in 1936, the U.S. Mint began producing proof sets on a regular basis and in greater numbers than the proof of earlier of years .

  • Proof sets made since 1936 normally contain one example of every regular-strike coin being produced in a given year.
  • Proof sets made before 1965 contain coins struck at the Philadelphia mint. Proof sets made since 1968 contain San Francisco mint coins.
  • There have been a couple gaps in proof set production since 1936: 1943-1949 and 1965-1967.
  • Proof sets made from 1936 to 1955 were contained in clear, small, soft plastic pouches, each holding one coin. These were then shipped to collectors in cardboard boxes. During 1955, the U.S. Mint switched from using individual plastic pouches (each holding one coin) to a flat package which houses all the proof coins in one sealed piece of cellophane with six pouches, each holding one proof coin. NOTE: Many of the 1936-1955 proof sets have been removed from their original packaging and have since been rehoused in hard plastic cases.
  • This variation of cellophane proof set packaging used right up through 1964. When regular proof set production resumed in 1968, the U.S. Mint began housing proof coins in a hard, flat plastic case. Though the design of the U.S. Mint’s hard plastic proof set cases has changed slightly over the years, the overall format has remained the same since 1968.

Mint Sets

Unlike proof sets, most mint sets do not contain coins that have been struck using particular methods of manufacture. alternatively, mint sets typically contain coins of common, mint-state quality. Mint sets contain coins that are uncirculated and search like ( and are ) uncoiled from the Mint. however, they are not truly any bright or well-struck than common, newly minted coins. The advantage to buying mint sets over merely removing coins from circulation is that mint set coins have never entered circulation, and therefore are pristine and virtually untouched. Mint sets besides sometimes contain coins that you would otherwise not find in circulation. In fact, coins like the 1970-D Kennedy half dollar, 1973 Eisenhower dollars, 1987 Kennedy half dollars, and 1996-W ( West Point, New York ) Roosevelt dime bag are coins that were not released by the U.S. Mint into circulation but they are included in mint sets !

  • Mint sets were first produced in 1947. Back then, mint sets contained 2 examples of each design and each mint’s coins. These sets were assembled using cardboard panels that held the coins. Unfortunately, the cardboard holders (which contain sulfur and glue, and do not protect the coins from the air) left many of the coins inside them to become very toned and spotty over the years. It is important to note, though, that some of this toning is considered beautiful and desirable to certain collectors.
  • In 1958, the United States Mint began assembling mint sets using sealed cellophane containers that include only one coin of each design and mint. This format had remained mainly unchanged until recently.
  • In 2007, the U.S. Mint began housing mint sets in folders; a blue folder houses Philadelphia coins and a red one contains coins made at the Denver mint.
  • Red and blue color coding for the two mints has remained the same since the introduction of cellophane mint set packaging in 1959. The soft plastic holders each contain two colored strips. Blue strips indicate Philadelphia coins, and red strips were used on packaging containing Denver coins (and San Francisco coins, during some years).

The Value Of Proof Sets & Mint Sets

Prices for proof sets and mint sets vary widely by date and variety. The least expensive proof and mint sets can be bought for less than $ 5 to $ 7 each for sealed sets from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. early proofread and batch sets can cost the collector hundreds and even thousands of dollars each.

We have a number of articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins which discuss the respect of respective mint sets and proof sets. In addition to those, you may besides find prices for proof sets and mint sets in the Professional Coin Grading Service price guidebook. similarly, A Guide Book of United States Coins contains annually update price information on thousands of U.S. coins, including batch sets and proof sets.

Don ’ triiodothyronine forget, proof sets and mint sets make arrant coin endow ideas for anybody on your birthday and vacation shop list .

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I ’ m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years previous. I chiefly collect and study U.S. coins produced during the twentieth hundred. I ’ m a penis of the American Numismatic Association ( ANA ) and the Numismatic Literary Guild ( NLG ) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin diarist. I ’ m besides the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club ( FUN Topics cartridge holder ), and writer of Images of America : The United States Mint in Philadelphia ( a book that explores the colored history of the Philadelphia Mint ). I ’ ve contributed hundreds of articles for versatile coin publications including neologism, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I ’ ve authored about 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins ( many of them with over 50K shares ), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below !

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