Archive for March, 2013

A New Style for the Annual Proof Set

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Collectors have long been enamored by products which can be purchased directly from the United States Mint. In the early history of collecting this included proof coinage and certain medals, which could be order through the mail or picked up at mint offices. In modern times, this has expanded to a large proliferation of different objects and packaging options that can be dizzying in nature. One noted expansion took place in 1983.

From 1968 onwards, the US Mint had been offering an annual proof set containing examples of each of the circulating denominations in proof format. These coins were struck at the San Francisco Mint and carried the “S” mint mark. Highly popular, sales extended into the millions of units for most years.

In 1982, Congress authorized the first modern commemorative coin, which was followed by another program in 1983 and for most ensuing years. The US Mint created a product which would combine the popular annual proof coins with the newly issued commemorative issues. These were all placed within a deluxe style of packaging and marketed towards an upscale audience. Th product was dubbed the Prestige Proof Set.

The offering proved highly popular, particularly for years which included commemorative coins with broad appeal. Sales reached a peak of nearly 600,000 units with the release of the Statue of Liberty Commemorative Coins. Despite the early popularity, over time sales would slowly slip as the Mint introduced many other new types of products. By 1995, sales had dipped to nearly 100,000 units. This was spelling the end, and in 1997 the final set was issued with sales of 80,000 units.