Quote: ...I do NOT see any sets earlier than 1964...
IMHO that isn't unusual. The US Mint packaging back then wasn't the best for preserving the condition of coins. Many collectors couldn't wait to remove the coins and put them into better preservation holders.
Quote: That is a beautiful set! Out of curiosity, where do the photo and COA (assuming there is one) go in the set itself, physically? Is there a separate sleeve or compartment in the hinged case?
The "photo" is actually the front of a multi-page pamphlet that goes into the history of photography during the civil war - the COA is also part of the pamphlet. The pamphlet is too large to fit into the hinged case, so it resides in the bottom of the outer box.
I look back on this set fondly, because it represents the first gold coin I purchased for my collection.