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Collecting individual coins is one way to build up your coin collection, but you can also collect mint proof coin sets. When you collect mint proof coin sets, you can choose from a themed group of coins such as the 50 State Quarters Program. A proof is a special coin made from a die and planchet, a metal piece which has a stamp of the coin design on it. You can tell a proof coin because it has a very shiny mirror surface and very detailed image. A proof set has all the denominations of a proof coin made during a given year.
Mint proof coin sets are an affordable way to add to your coin collection. Prices can start under $10 and go up from there. One way to get a complete compilation of coins is to purchase one of the complete mint proof coin sets, dating from 1964 through the current year. If you're interested in foreign coins, European mint proof coin sets favor a different surface than the American versions. Their proof coins tend to have a matte surface instead.