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If you've been eyeing ten coin proof sets from 1999, beware that these sets are not from the US Mint. Ten coin proof sets have shown up in the marketplace containing a 1999 Proof Anthony Dollar. However, these are sets made from private individuals who are combining a genuine 1999 Proof coin into a 10 coin holder from later sets. There were never any ten coin proof sets offered from the US Mint during the 1999 year. However, a ten coin proof set was introduced in 2000. The genuine 1999 sets contain coins with an “S” Mint Mark from the San Francisco Mint.
In the 1960s, the US Mint replaced silver coins with silver clad versions. Due to the Coinage Act of 1965, 90 percent silver alloy was no longer in use. Instead, the Act determined the dime and quarter would receive a copper and nickel clad composition while the silver half dollar would contain just 40 percent silver. The change subsequently affected proof coins. For instance, proof Eisenhower dollars from 1971 to 1974 became silver clad dollars and were nicknamed “Brown Ike” coins. The last silver clad dollars were the Bicentennial coins. They entered circulation in July of 1975. Among these pieces were 4 million three coin sets containing Proof Bicentennial silver clad coins from the San Francisco Mint. Because of the number of coins minted, silver clad proof coins are very affordable. A complete set of Proof 64 Kennedy silver clad half dollars costs about $62.
Mint Proof Sets and Mint Silver Proof Sets do have many commonalities, so it's easy to become confused between the two. There are a few key differences, which may vary with the year of the set issued. For example, for the 2002 year, the US Mint issued Mint Proof Sets as well as Silver Proof Sets. In general, both sets undergo the same proof production process. The 2002 Mint Proof Sets and Silver Proof Sets contain the same number of coins. The 2002 Mint Proof Set uses metal alloys identical to the ones used for general circulation. However, the 2002 Mint Silver Proof Sets use a 90% silver alloy in their production process.
If you purchased Proof Mint Sets from 1999, 2000, or 2001, you may be in for a refund from the US Mint. The US Mint held back 150,000 Proof Mint Sets and planned to offer them on a scheduled basis for collectors. However, a number of these sets showed spotting and tarnishing, which the US Mint blamed on improper storage.
The quarter is your favorite coin. You avoid buying a newspaper if it means surrendering your quarters. You wonder if there isa special stat quarter coin proof set. Aside from silver proof sets that include stat quarters, you can indulge your two-bits obsession with our silver coin proof set obsessions:
* 2005 Silver Quarter Proof Set--California, Minnesota, West Virginia, Oregon, Kansas
* 2005 Clad Quarter Proof Set--California, Minnesota, West Virginia, Oregon, Kansas
* 2003 Silver Quarter Proof Set--Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas
* 1999 Quarter Silver Proof Set, the year it all started
Maybe you'll be able to give out your quarters in change now that you have these valuable proof sets. If you ever decide to sell them, the value will make you feel a bit better as your heart is being drawn and quartered.
In 1985, the US Mint did not produce any Prestige Proof Sets because there were no commemorative coins created that year. These specially made proof set compilations come in a hinged box which opens like a book. The front and back of the box open to reveal either the obverse or reverse side of the coins. There is a high demand for these proof sets, with high priced versions being difficult to find and easy to sell. 2004 Prices range from the 1987 set which sold for $24.95 to $499 for the 1996 set.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, is my silver proof set fairest of all? If your silver coin proof set is mirrored, then you have a valuable collectible. Mirrored simply means that the coins in silver proof sets are struck at least twice to ensure sharp detail. The result: a frosted image on a mirrored background. Even Snow White's wicked Queen nemesis would appreciate her image in a silver proof coin.
Mirrored is as good as if not better than Brilliant Uncirculated, so be sure to keep your mirrored silver proof sets in pristine condition. Avoid taking them out of commemorative cases or plastic slabs, except if you have them re-appraised or examined by a prospective buyer. If you buy a mirrored silver proof set, you can generally be sure it's in excellent condition, since collectors won't want to ruin the finish. After all, they don't want to have that wicked Queen, devaluation, ruining the worth of silver proof sets.
She was a great reformer, a feminist, a pioneer...we're talking, of course, about Susan B. Anthony, and you've likely seen the peculiar octagon-sided coins. You might be a guy, but you support feminism. Plus, you want to impress your women friends by owning a Susan B. Anthony silver proof set. But you heard Susan B. Anthony got replaced by the Sacagawea dollar.
Your male pals say, "All right, Native American chick, much better." So you collect the Sacagawea silver proof set, but you're detemined to show your respect for the fairer sex.
A 1980 US proof set isn't completely silver, but the proof coin set does include Susan B. Anthony, so you get points for trying. Professional Coin Grading Service says that a weighted set of six SBA dollars is weighted 70.00, the finest possible set rating accordign to PCGS. Score one for women everywhere.
Of course, instead of the coin proof set, you could always buy a whole album of SBA coins in a deluxe album if you get outbid by another male who respects his feminine side. The deluxe album can set you back $400 or more, but SBA proofs appreciate in value. Ah, what you do for feminism!
You could stick with just the 50 State Quarters or you can add some commemorative proof coins to your collection. The US Mint has several available for 2006. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our suggestions for current commemorative proof coins:
2006 American Legacy Collection – The 2006 American Legacy Collection features 12 proof coins, including all of the 2006 circulating coins as well as the Benjamin Franklin Founding Father Silver Dollar and San Francisco Old Mint Silver Dollar. Because there is a limited quantity available, you may have to get on a wait list if you're ordering from the Mint.
San Francisco Old Mint Proof – The San Francisco Old Mint Proof comes in a $5 gold coin and silver dollar version. These coins commemorate the San Francisco Mint, which played a large part in recovery efforts after it survived the 1906 earthquake and fire.
You love gold. Gold jewelry, golden oldies, the Golden Girls. You can take or leave silver. You wonder if you can buy US gold proof sets, since you already own the 1989 Canadian Gold Maple Coin Proof Set and the 2002 UK Jubilee Gold Coin Proof Set (3-coin or 4-coin). Yes, the US Mint likes to go for the gold--more than you do! Some terrific US gold proof sets include: * 1999 American Eagle Gold Proof 4-Coin Set * 2000-W Proof Gold American Eagle 4-Coin Set * 1995 US Gold Coin Proof Set * 2003 Gold American Eagle Four Coin Proof Set Be prepared to bargain heavily with fellow collectors and dealers for gold proof sets, since silver proof sets are more common.
You can buy directly from the US Mint, unless you're looking for rare proof sets. If you have the money to spend on your hobby, all that glitters really is gold. Unlike your Hershey's Pot o' Gold candy collection, gold proof sets can appreciate and endure.
Older proof sets aren't always easy to obtain. Mercury was the messenger of the gods, but sometimes finding a Mercury dime silver proof set isn't as swift. You wish you had winged sandals and could hit all the coin shops.
Fortunately, the Internet is as fast as Mercury (unless you have dial-up.) You can locate Mercury dime silver proof sets spanning 1936-1942. How do you buy a Mercury dime silver proof set? What do you look for? Some hints from the gods:
* The key date is usually the 1936 Mercury dime, so make sure any coin proof set contains one.
* If you have a 1941-1945 silver proof set, don't fret, it's still valuable, so burn offerings at the temples.
* Brilliant Uncirculated is the best, but terms such as choice BU, gem BU, select BU and premium BU may add more worth to your divine treasure. We know of a choice BU 15-piece silver proof set selling for $149.50 and well worth the purchase price.
* Be sure that your silver proof set has at least one or two cameos, coins struck as proofs with a frosted or satiny central device surrounded by a mirrorlike or mirrored field.
* Make sure that you factor the value of silver (which you can track at Kitco.com) into the coin proof set value. Common coins in silver proof sets are more valuable because of silver (Mercury dimes are 90% silver as are most coins dated 1964 or earlier.)
Grab a laurel wreath and sail onto the Internet to buy your Mercury dime silver proof set.
High-maintenance? You? No! You just like the best. Owning a proof set isn't enough. For you, silver proof sets must be special. As a collector, you may want to considr prestige sets, also called prestige proof sets.
The US Mint produced prestige sets from 1983 to 1997. These sets contain one or more proof commemorative coins released in the same year and include a proof cent, nickel, dime, quarter and half dollar. While that may add up to chump change to the untrained eye, a prestige proof coin set isn't cheap, particularly since it can commemorate the Bill of Rights, the Olympics or the Statue of Liberty. Some sample eBay values for prestige proof sets:
* 1986 US Mint Statue of Liberty Prestige Proof Set, $49.95
* 1997 Prestige Proof Set, $220.00
* 1996 Prestige Proof Set, $535.00
* 1997 Prestige Proof Set 6 Deep Cameo Proofs, $173.38
* 1990 Eisenhower Prestige Proof Set, $22.96
* 1996 US Mint Olympic Prestige Proof Set (one of only 55,000), $480.00
You're not high-maintenance because you insist on prestige silver proof sets. You might be high-maintenance if you have a butler to take care of your prestige proof set!
G'day, mate. If you're a collector with a taste for all things Australian, including take-away menus from Outback Steakhouse, you probably want some Australian proof coin sets.
Might we suggest the 2005 Fine Silver Proof Year Set commemorating the 60th Anniversary of World War II. Yanks don't have the monopoly on remembering the war, as the $1, 50 cent and 20 cent Australian coins prove.
Also, there's the Perth Mint 2002 Gem Proof Australian Silver Horse Set and the complete silver proof set of all Australian 1-ounce Kookaburras...bonser if you're into all things Oz and you love coins.
In other countries people drive on the left side of the road, opposite from Yanks. Don't fret if you get an Australian coin proof set with a frosted background and a mirror-image finish on the Queen. That's called a reverse-proof and it just means your silver proof set is fair dinkum.
You can buy coins from the Australian Royal Mint, from American dealers or just about anywhere. Be sure to fill out those customs forms, and remember you have to pay GST (goods and services tax) in Australia.
Toss some prawns on the barbie and celebrate owning a piece of down under. Better yet, why not visit, mate, and add to your collection.
Chances are unless you have a U.S. Mint on hand yourself, you won't be able to chase down rare proof sets from 1872. Buying older proof sets is tricky, many of these sets are no longer on the market or have been collected by people who do have a personal mint.
However, you can own a share of the Mint from the 20th and 21st centuries. We like the 1955 Proof Set, even though it's not a complete silver proof set. The proof sets from the 1950s are accompanied by the original government-issue envelope, and compared to the more expensive 1950 coin proof set, it's a bargain for the beginning collector or for the seasoned collector, especially since Sammler.com estimates the value of the flat pack at $100.
Always check the values of proof sets before you buy. If your silver proof set is priced at or above its estimated value, you have a great buy that can increase in value if you keep those coins in the envelope, which a history buff might pay extra for. You don't need a US Mint to collect proof sets--just an appreciation for history.
Just how many coin proof set and uncirculated set packages remain intact is unknown, but according to Coin World Magazine, the number may be smaller than you might think. Annually, there are an unaccounted number of coin proof set packages opened up due to demand by coin collectors for individual coins within the sets. However, one thing is certain, the demand for individual coins within an intact set can drive up the price of the remaining intact versions.
One coin company in Richmond, VA estimates breaking up a total of 150,000 to 160,000 coin proof sets and uncirculated Mint sets every year. The entire count comes to about 3 million sets broken up over the last two decades.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|