A Guide To Buying Proof Sets Whether someone is an established numismatic (coin collector) or simply getting started, learning about and purchasing proof sets can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. The United States Mint produced a form of currency referred to as a proof coin and this coin was intended to be a step above the rest; a set is when you have a comprehensive collection of denominations from a specific year. These coins have added variation, smoother finishes, and sharper rims in comparison with common, regularly used currency. There are three varieties of proof coins: frosted proof, matte proof, and brilliant proof. Special modifications are done with several strikes and chemical treatments. Selected sets are more highly coveted due to the added luster and collectible nature of the coins. When purchasing a set, there are particular things that a buyer should know before a transaction is made. With most coins there is a historical component and this is part of the allure for numismatics and coin dealers. When determining the value, knowing the techniques employed by the US Mint during the time the coin was stamped is key information. From 1916 to 1936, the U.S. quit striking proof coins for the most part and this makes any proof coin from that time period rare and sets are even more uncommon. Individual coins could be obtained and sets were limited to the lowest amount stamped in one denomination once production did restart in 1936. Sets became the sole purchase option in 1950. In terms of knowing how many coins should be in a set, knowing the year is very important. For instance, from 1973 to 1981 a dollar coin was included. On occasion, sets were produced with small errors that add to their value. Coins were produced without mint marks in 1968, 1970, 1975, 1971, 1983, and 1990, so a set during this period of time is probably worth an extra inspection. Similar to other items of worth, sets are ranked on a grade scale. One to seventy is the scale, with seventy being perfect quality and obviously, one is the lowest. Between 60 and 70 is an ideal number. This means that it is in mint state and is uncirculated, or hasnâ€™t had any wear from being used by the public. The number generally has a prefix, the most common being PF, which simply stands for â€œproof." When determining its expected preservation, knowing how sets were packaged over the years is really important information from a collecting standpoint. In the beginning, boxes were the most popular method of encasement but were ultimately replaced by individual cellophane wrappings between 1950 to mid-1955. Though it doesn't affect the coin's value, coins kept in cellophane have been known to experience tarnishing, and there are those who like the appearance. After 1955, proof sets were kept in soft plastic packets for its rising popularity and availability at the time. It isn't uncommon for sets to be transported to a more modern protective structure, but a buyer must be aware of any fingerprints left by handling, as marks can play a part in evaluation. Whether you buy from a recognized coin dealer or a private party, buying a proof set can be a fun way to own a bit of history, make an investment or add to a hobby. For an important event or a special birthday, they can also make a terrific commemorative gift. It is a gift that perfectly embodies both value and sentiment.
Phil's Coins and Stamps
A Guide To Buying Proof Sets Whether someone is an established numismatic (coin collector) or simply getting started, learning about and purchasing p...
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Phil's Coins and Stamps