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By Jon R. Warren

Learn About US Mint Proof Sets

The U.S. Mint has been producing silver proof sets since 1936, and over the past 77 years, there have been millions of silver proof sets minted. During that time, the number of proof sets has varied substantially, and as you might expect, lower mintage runs are more valuable than high mintage years. While the number of proof sets produced in any year is one of the primary factors affecting the value of these coins, it is not the only factor. In this article, we’ll discuss several factors that affect the value of your coins and will highlight the most valuable sets so that you are well-prepared when the time comes to sell silver proof sets.

The number of silver proof sets minted is the main factor affecting their value. The lowest production silver proof sets, and therefore, the most valuable were minted in 1956 and earlier. The lowest mintage silver proof set produced was in the inaugural year of 1936, with a production run of only 3,837. Sealed examples of this set in mint condition can are valued at thousands of dollars each and are rare. After 1956, the U.S. Mint typically produced silver proof sets in the millions; however, a few exceptions exist.

Some of the more valuable silver proof sets produced after 1956 are the 1995-S Prestige set, the 1996-S Premier set and the 1997-S Prestige set. The rarest of the Prestige sets is the 1996-S with a mintage of only 55,000. In addition to these Prestige sets, the 1999-S silver proof set is much in demand. This set had a production run of just over 800,000 sets and is popular among silver coin investors and coin collectors alike.

The actual market value of your set will depend on its condition. The highest record prices you may see on the Internet are for sets in the highest possible grade, meaning PERFECT condition. Don't expect top dollar for a poor condition or even average condition set. Factors that affect the value of your silver coins include the condition of the original government packaging (OGP), the original government paperwork, the condition of the cellophane packaging and the condition of the coins in your set (do they have any tarnishing, environmental issues, blemishes, etc.).

If you happen to be fortunate enough to have one of the older silver proof sets in a sealed envelope, it’s important to not break the seal. Even though you are unable to confirm the condition of the coins in a sealed envelope, the assumption is that the coins are in pristine condition and that you’ll be paid accordingly for the sets. If you have a proof set without an envelope, you may find it difficult to sell, so it is important to keep the coins inside the envelope. Damaged envelopes, envelopes with writing, incomplete paperwork in the envelope, and toning/tarnishing of the coins are all factors that can significantly affect the value of your sets.

This article has been read 1426 times. Last read on 5/27/2023 7:43:14 AM

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