Everything You Should Know About Purchasing Proof Sets Learning about and buying proof sets can be an exciting and rewarding enterprise whether you are an established numismatic (coin collector) or simply starting out. The United States Mint created a kind of currency referred to as a proof coin and this coin was designed to be a step above the rest; a set is when you've got a comprehensive collection of denominations from a specific year. When compared with common, regularly used currency, these coins have added variation, smoother finished and sharper rims. There are three varieties of proof coins: frosted proof, matte proof, and brilliant proof. Multiple strikes and chemical treatments are used to do special modifications. Some sets are more highly desired because of the added luster and collectible nature of the coins. Before a transaction is made, there are certain things that a buyer really should know when they are thinking about purchasing a set. With most coins, and part of the attraction of numismatics and coin dealers, there is a historical component. When determining the value, knowing the procedures employed by the US Mint during the time the coin was stamped is key information. From 1916 to 1936, the U.S. halted 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 purchased and sets were limited to the lowest amount stamped in a single denomination once production did restart in 1936. It wasnâ€™t until 1950 that sets had become the sole purchase option. With regards to knowing how many coins should be in a set, knowing the year is important. A dollar coin was included from 1973 to 1981 by way of example. On occasion, sets were produced with minor errors that add to their value. In 1968, 1970, 1975, 1971, 1983, and 1990, coins were produced without mint marks, so a set during this timeframe is probably worth an extra inspection. Sets are ranked on a grade scale much like other items of value. One to seventy is the scale, with seventy being perfect quality and needless to say, one is the lowest. In 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 typically has a prefix, the most common being PF, which simply stands for â€œproof." When determining its expected preservation, knowing how sets were packaged throughout the years is important information from a collecting perspective. In the beginning, boxes were the most popular method of encasement but were ultimately replaced by individual cellophane wrappings between 1950 to mid-1955. While it doesn't affect the coin's value, coins kept in cellophane have been known to experience tarnishing, and there are those who enjoy the appearance. After 1955, proof sets were kept in soft plastic packets for its increasing popularity and availability at that time. Since the practice of transporting sets to a more modern protective structure is common, the buyer needs to look at things like fingerprints left by handling, as marks can play a part in evaluation. Regardless of whether you buy from an established coin dealer or a private party, buying a proof set can be a fun way to own a part of history, make an investment or add to a hobby. They can also make for an excellent gift to honor an important event or a special birthday. If you want both value and sentiment, this is a gift that perfectly signifies both. Phil's Coins and Stamps
Everything You Should Know About Purchasing Proof Sets
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Phil's Coins and Stamps