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Differences in Numismatic Coin Sets

Proof sets and mint sets are important for numismatic collectors. They come in all shapes and sizes, giving collectors an abundant selection from important historical times. In scope, proof sets maintain their value because of their purpose. Mint sets also hold a measure of their value because of the selection and importance of the included coins. Proofs are scarce compared to uncirculated coins and sometimes the presentation factor is better too. Of the many proof and mint sets today, there are differences that make each valuable and worth collecting. Establishing these differences will help collectors solidify their collecting and investment strategies. 

Differences in Numismatic Coin Sets

Proof coins are early samples of coin issues. The proofs were designed as a way to check the die and standards of the coin before they were released for production. Today, proofs are struck for collectors and have become a staple for some collectors and investors. 

  • Proof Sets. Proofs coins are struck at least twice with specialized dies and finishing polishes. As a result, the proof coin looks different from regular uncirculated coinage. Creating proof coins ensures the finalized coins for production are suitable for circulation. Proof sets were first minted in 1936 and continue today. A popular choice among coin collectors, proof sets are often affordable because they never entered circulation. In some cases, early proof sets come in their original packaging. There are even instances where the mint will package a collection of proof sets together. 
  • Mint Sets. Mint sets do not contain coins that were struck with specialized dies and finishing polishes. These sets, however, do include coins in mint state quality. Oftentimes, this is confused with proof set or proof quality. What is unique about mint sets is they never enter circulation so packaging and care are particularly important.  In some cases, mint sets include rare coins or coins that never made it into circulation, like the 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar and the 1996-W Roosevelt Dime. The value in mint sets is the coins have not been touched so their quality is high. 

The selection available for mint and proof coins is extraordinary. APMEX carries a large number of mint sets and proof sets, all in high-quality condition, from 1936 to present day. Whether you are looking for specific mint sets or rare proof sets, you can find them at APMEX.

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