What exactly is a proof coin? I see coins listed as proof that go for good money. I am guessing these arent the same coins that are in proof / mint sets that can / could get from each year as if that were the case, wouldnt people just open the proof sets and grab the coins individually?
Also, are there any coins in proof / mint sets worth searching for? I have a bunch of mint / proof sets from 70s - 80s - 90s in a box and didnt know if I should be looking for anything in particular?
Quote: What is a proof coin mean? The term "proof" refers to the coin's finish. Proof blanks are specially treated, hand-polished, and cleaned to ensure high-quality strikes. ... These coins: Are struck at least twice, which gives the coin a frosted, sculpted foreground for a glamorous shine; defined, intricate design; and mirror-like background.
Quote: I see coins listed as proof that go for good money. I am guessing these arent the same coins that are in proof / mint sets that can / could get from each year as if that were the case, wouldnt people just open the proof sets and grab the coins individually?
It seems what you are asking is why some proof coins go for more money than others. These are all coins that are pulled from proof sets but have exceptional value for some reason.
As previous posters note, some high prices are due to errors. Another reason is that some proof coins are made by chance with better planchets, have better strikes than their peer coins of same issue, or have other attributes that set them above the rest of the pack of same issue (exceptionally clear fields, deep cameo quality, etc.) People who recognize these qualities send the coins to well known grading companies to get them certified for grade which adds cost and value. So, when looking at higher priced proofs, check the grading. MS or PF 70 grades command the higher prices.
A proof coin is struck using a highly polished planchet, struck twice, and handled with gloves. A mint strike is run of the mill planchets run through high speed presses with no care for handling. dumped into bins of 4000+ coins and bagged.
Thank you for the answers....I am going to have to research what to look for in finding the better made proof coins before going through all the sets I received and see if I have anything interesting in there.