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Need Guidance On Purchasing Some Proof Sets

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United States
101893 Posts
 Posted 06/01/2021  11:46 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

I get the older "S" ones because they have the Ike dollars in them as well as the JFKs but that is my rationale.
You had me at Ike dollars.
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United States
1777 Posts
 Posted 06/01/2021  5:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cladking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

I agree with most of the other people here. One thing I want to add is that selling these things is a HUGE pain in the butt. I recently came to acquire 15 or so 80's/90's proof and mint sets, and 8 2000's proof sets for face value. Trying to sell them individually on ebay is basically not an option. Undercutting competition doesn't always result in a fast sale even if it's pristine. Not to mention, undercutting means selling them for maybe 40 cents above face value after fees and shipping! I ended up just breaking up the mint sets and 2000's proof sets and spending them. But I was lucky to find a buyer outside of ebay who took the rest for 2 bucks a piece and paid for the medium flat rate box I had to put them in, because not only are they nearly worthless, they're also super bulky

People have been panning mint sets for as long as I can remember. It worked fine for me since I could acquire them cheap. Or I could look through thousands of sets and buy the nicest ones for a small premium. I never really had much competition in buying the sets or the individual coins from sets. Obviously this mostly ended 22 years ago when the states coins came out. But you can still get a set with $10 worth of coins for $5. This is just the way it works. If you can find nice pristine sets then you can effectively double your money by cutting them up. And you sure couldn't do that in the old days. You'd be lucky to even break even in the old days and usually there was cost involved along with the work.

The demand for these coins is simply soaring and right now it is mostly manifested in the prices of cents, nickels, halfs, and dollars. People aren't looking for ratty or tarnished coins but the ones in nice choice BU. They are looking for varieties and Gems also. This is the state of the market and the demand is just going to grow in all probability.

If the demand grows then the real surprises in these sets will be the dimes and quarters. This is because for many years countless millions of these sets have been cut up principally for the halfs and dollars and the dimes and quarters have just been spent. There is no supply of these coins because no BU rolls were set aside. Most of the mint sets are tarnished.

But some of these things apply to proofs as well. Millions of proof sets have been destroyed and many of the coins put in circulation. None of the proof coins are going to be tough because they made nearly 3 million every year but some dates (like the '68/ '69 25c) have well under half the coins surviving. chBU's can be far scarcer than this. Try finding a nice attractive '69 quarter in chBU with no tarnish if you think they are easy. If you can't find this coin now with almost no demand where are you going to find it if the demand becomes a lot stronger?

Mint and proof sets have been a steal for many years but the numismatic premiums on these sets have about quadrupled in the last several months and I'd say they are still a bargain.

To each his own. It's a great time to be selling but very few people have them to sell and this is why further increases are probable.

I'm only selling due to my age. Every impulse tells me to buy but my heirs aren't going to want to deal with it.
Time don't fly, it bounds and leaps.
Edited by cladking
06/01/2021 5:41 pm
Valued Member
59 Posts
 Posted 06/04/2021  11:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dant5150 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have read a number of responses here that claim their is no value in them.

Each and every single coin's value in our own personal collections as well as in the market is determined by each and every single dang one of us. What are we willing to pay for our "Preciouses"?

If you are only in it to flip it and make profit, there are 1000's upon 1000's already ahead of you on that front and I believe many really have to hustle to make any money at all.

In the world of "Art", when there are billions upon billions of reproductions, like it is with coins, what do you think they are "personally" worth? One of my top favorite coins is a 1935 Canadian Nickel that looks like it caught on fire. Eye appeal. What do "they" say about beauty and it in the beholden eye?
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United States
1720 Posts
 Posted 06/04/2021  3:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bret to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

I agree somewhat with others, I'd buy them if the price was right and if I needed some specific coins from the sets. Personally, I don't think they can go much lower than they already are. I'd consider them pretty well already depreciated.

Be sure to inspect each set CLOSELY. The majority of sets have not be properly stored so they corrode over time. I'd also take a close look at the 1970-S proof sets, they are known to tone very nicely and can command a premium if so.

+1 This post nailed it. Be willing to pay for premium condition sets and don't bother with problem sets. Some years have more problems than others.
New Member
United States
48 Posts
 Posted 06/09/2021  4:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add coinnewcomer1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I see there has been some good commentary on this topic.

Let me remind everyone that the coins that were ignored or disregarded as nearly worthless in their time gained quite some value. The problem is you have to wait for quite some time. As some have mentioned, this time is approaching as the Proof sets of the mid 1970's to early 1980's suffered often from PVC damage (you will note a haze on them) so out of necessity they need to be cleaned for PVC and stored in proper materials (Danscos are good as well as gold old coin capsules). The worst years I have seen are about 1979 - 1981 making it difficult to find a SBA proof dollar without PVC damage.

Mint sets don't suffer as severe a degradation but as the cellophane ages the coins tend to shift within their packet or the cellophane packet s develop tiny holes. You would be surprised to see the condition of coins in 1970 Mint sets. Many intact have coins that are subpar quality as many sets have been cherrypicked for quality.

As for rare or scarce errors, Condor identified them with the small S from 1970 being the easiest to find. The No "S" ones from 1975, 1983 are quite rare and the 1990 very scarce.

One area of collecting that to me has some modest (but I don't think you will get wealthy from them) current proof and mint sets. The mintages have been under 500,000 for years matching the mintages of mid 1950's. The packaging is superior to those from the mid 1950's (I would say the turning point in improved packaging began with the 2010 Mint sets, the proof sets were already quite improve with the sets from 1992 onward. All sets are in good archival storage materials --- but note no amount of packaging prevents coins from aging , they just slow down the process tremendously. The only drawback to current sets is due to the improved packaging, their survival rate is quite high compared to those prior to the early 1980s (and of course any sets prior to 1955 have an exceedingly low survival rate as most are broken up). Still worth looking into. To me a good place to start is to try and get the Mint and silver proof sets from 2010 to 2021 to have all the ATB Quarters. Another set to get are those from 2005 - 2009 as they feature some low mintage Sac dollars before the design was changed in 2009 as well as the special Lincoln cents. Finally, these sets (2005 - 2010) feature a satin finish which carries a small premium greater than the brilliant uncirculated finish (this is in general there are exceptions).

I myself have only gotten the 2008, 2009, 2006 and 2010 Mint sets along with the 2009 Silver Proof and 2014 Silver Proof. Starting from 2018 onward I get one silver proof set through an enrollment with the US Mint. My results? 2008 and 2009 Mint sets I got from someone from Facebook and the results were mixed, the golden dollars (Presidential and Sacs) had some spotting from the wash the Mint applies during the production process. However, the Quarters, 2009 cents and other copper-nickel coins were fine. Overall grade C-. The 2010 Mint set I got from a local coin shop and had a few to choose from, excellent quality - grade A. 2009 Proof set I got from a respected online dealer APMEX, good quality although nothing spectacular - grade B+. 2006 Mint set got from ebay and all looked good except for one nickel which had at its edge a reddish toning starting, probably from a hole in the cellophane - overall grade B-. The 2014 Silver Proof set I got from ebay and overall very good except for the Sac dollar showing a spot - possibly a little copper oxidation. Overall grade B.

The best quality Mint and Proof sets received were from the US Mint. And in the case of an American Innovation Proof set which I received only one that had a damaged coin, I was able to exchange it for a superior one.
My strategy for collecting Mint and Proof sets, I don't go out of my way to get these and after trying online, I have decided to stick with buying them from the S Mint or a very good local coin dealer with a brick and mortar shop.

In sum:

1975 - 1994 and the late 60's Mint Sets will avoid PVC damage but the coins may get an accumulation of tiny scratches (hairlines) from shifting in the cellophane pockets for decades, also any holes could cause weird toning. Still, you avoid PVC damage.

The late 1960's proof sets generally do not suffer as much as the 1975 - 1982 Proof sets from PVC damage. Any coins with haze or a greenish slime - PVC damage - try to avoid unless you get it near face value and know how to clean the PVC residue off properly. After about 1983 this becomes less and less of a problem. One aside there is one exception - the Prestige and Premiere sets from 1986 - 1992 avoid PVC damage sometimes - mine have. Remember the worst years are 1979 - 1982.

Consider looking for nice Mint and Proof sets from 2007 - Present. Mintages grow smaller each year and after 2005 remain under 500,000 for the Mint and Silver Proof sets. Clad proof sets are an option if you need to save some money just realize mintages run a little higher but again sales of these has not exceeded 750,000 in years.

Your best place to shop for these is either directly from the US Mint or a very reputable local coin shop with a large and diverse inventory of Proof and Mint sets.

I hope this helps.

Edited by coinnewcomer1
06/09/2021 4:24 pm
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United States
1596 Posts
 Posted 06/09/2021  5:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Oldfordman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I recently got a good deal on some of the 1981s proof sets. I got them mostly to look for the type 2 coins.
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