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It's a mint set question

Every once in a great while the U.S. Mint Uncirculated Coin Set, or simply mint set, as most collectors call it, becomes the focus of intense collector interest.

Usually it is because the set contains a coin or coins that were not struck for circulation. The 1970 set featured a 40-percent silver 1970-D half dollar. It was the last of the 40-percenters and the only way to get it was to buy the set.

In 1981, the three Anthony dollars struck that year were simply those struck for the annual set.

In 1987, the only way to get half dollars was to buy the set.

In 1996, there was a special West Point dime included only in the mint set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Roosevelt dime.

Sometimes collectors know ahead of time what the situation is and act accordingly. Sometimes, as was the case with the 1970 set, we didn’t know. The 1970 set is memorable for me because I had ordered 10 1969 sets and when the order period rolled around in 1970 I decided buying that many sets was a waste of money and I ordered two. Oh well.

When the 2009 set is offered to collectors sometime this summer, it will probably be a feeding frenzy kind of moment, but collectors are in a stranger than usual position.

We know more than nothing as was the case in 1970, but there will be no coin in the set that is struck solely for mint sets,  so we have to ask what’s the big deal?

Well, we are tantalized by the difficulties of getting Lincoln cents, nickels, dimes and event quarters through the usual banking channels, so I know many collectors will simply fall back on buying the set to take care of the holes in their albums.

What will that do to demand? It will probably increase it. That will help assure future generations of collectors a supply of this year’s coins. But since no coins in it will be solely available in the set, it is hard to see any long-term premium value that will attach to it. That doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a short-term pop in price in online trading.

So buyers will have to decide whether the set will simply fulfill their own needs or whether it is worth the risk as a speculation.

Is it better to have this between kind of information or was I better off knowing nothing as was the case in 1970?

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10 Responses to It's a mint set question

  1. A Collector says:

    In a way, EVERY coin in each year’s Mint Set is solely available in those sets because since 2005 they have the "satin finish", unlike circulation strike coins. So, buying Mint Sets will not truly fill those holes of circulation strike collections since they are not the same coins.

    The way people tend to act anymore, you would think that the Mint Set versions would be worth insane premiums over circulation strikes, simply due to drastically lower mintages. Around one million coins or less with the "satin finish", but up to hundreds of millions of circulation strikes. How can people truly call 2009 nickels and dimes "low mintage" in comparison to the "satin finish" versions? It’s funny.

  2. Craig Leighton says:

    I was under the impression that the 2009 Mint set was the only place where you could get the 4 Lincoln pennies uncirculated in copper. Are there other places where you can get uncirculated copper 2009 Lincoln cents?

  3. Mr. Chuck Schroeder says:

    NO ONE sells a book, that’s complete, example, PD and S only, no satin finish P and D, no type two’s, such as the ones that flipped over and was struck on edge lettering on the Prez Dollar, no error coins for each. That’s a complete book. Just a PDS. Now, with all these EXPERTS in here, it’s time to tell the truth’s. It’s time I added my 2 cents worth. I have been reading Numismatic News for years. Now, it’s my turn. The negativism of non licensed coin dealers, and real coin dealers. Do you think cherrypicking is pretty much the same as stealing?. Or should people be allowed to benefit from their superior knowledge, as long as they pay the dealer the price he wants for the coin, or wishes to give to you for spot price to melt down when selling it to them?. As most people are aware, the price of gold has reached record levels (from fear of loss and hype), and is currently flirting with $1,000 an ounce. Silver has more than tripled in just over 3 years, rising from $6.40 in Jan. 2005 to about $20 an ounce today. Pawn shops, jewelry stores, and so called coin dealers are all doing a very brisk business in buying gold and silver coin items from customers who want to cash in. Most of this gets melted down and/or resold fairly quickly at a real high price over gray sheet in a market like this. But should coin dealers be melting down the very treasures they are charged to protect and conserve for future generations of collectors?. Are some coins okay to melt but not others?. Personally, I am appalled at this mass melting of U.S. coinage. Perhaps this is an attitude found more commonly among the collectors of ancient coins than the modern coin collectors, but I see coin collectors and dealers as stewards of our national heritage. Not phony con-artist’s. These coins can never be replaced, and coin collectors have a duty to conserve and protect this heritage to pass down to future generations. After all, we can’t take them with us when we die, so melting them for bullion is just selfish and antisocial. On the other side of the coin, however, are the folks who believe that if you pay for the coin, you own it. It’s yours to do whatever you want with it, even destroy it by tossing it into the melting pot. It’s bad enough Coin Club’s are disappearing at an alarming rate, like the drive in movie places, use to be years ago, how is our children of today, going to find that coin, to put in a empty hole in a book, when the silver coins are all melted down for 10 times face, that gave some coin dealer 77 ounces of silver for $100 face value of silver coins and, kills the knowledge of what coin collecting is all about, "Children", and our hobby, and The Family.

  4. Annoyed Reader says:

    Dear Mr. Chuck Schroeder,

    Please stop posting the same rant over and over, it accomplishes nothing and is just annoying.

    Thanks

  5. Mr. Chuck Schroeder says:

    RE: Annoyed Reader

    Let’s talk about the 70’s then, the Peace, Love and Dope generation era, yes there’s a big push to "dump stock" from Hoards of these Mint sets etc., all picked through, with a grade from MS 60 – MS 63 at the most, from these phony non licenced dealers, that think they are, read the ad’s.

    Now, let’s ask these expert’s here, when one taked, say a P Morgan, without a Mint Mark, stamps a CC in it or a S mintmark, the same as with a 70’s set, and sells it to YOU for another type of coin, sight not seen, from these ad’s, and YOUR stuck with it now, how do you feel?.

    The same holds true if this same American coin, bought on ebay or another auction site, was there from China, and it to was a fake?.

    Would this tick YOU off?. What would YOUR liberal leader’s do to stop it?. NOTHING. To encapsulate for you, and your cottage cheese, young skull full of mush, of a MTV beer bong mentality, learned in College and call it higher education, I will sum it up for you real quick. Seeing you can’t read, and it’s not in pictures nor an open book test with the answer’s in the back of the book. The young, Generation X, Y and Z’s, Extreme, the garbage generation, the I, Me and My generation, and the Next generation, even though very educated, have no common sense at all, and could care less about the elderly, meaning from 55 – upward, and think the planet belongs to them and them alone. So to does Congress. And caves to these generation’s for votes only.

    Why not son?.

    Your the expert here.

  6. Another Annoyed Reader says:

    Mr. Chuck Schroeder seems to be a very harsh, bitter individual who tries to come across as if he knows everything about anything, and anyone who refutes that must be an idiot in his eyes. It’s too bad there isn’t a way to block his comments. I can’t WAIT to see how he replies to this! I’m sure I’ll be called names or belittled in some way, but maybe he will take the hint that we DON’T WANT TO READ HIS INCREDIBLY LONG AND WHINEY POSTS!

  7. Tim says:

    2009 uncirc set will contain the copper pennies. You will only get these copper pennies in P and D in this Uncirc Set… This is the obvious reason for a frenzy on these sets. I’m suprised you missed this.

  8. Mr. Chuck Schroeder says:

    Let’s go fishing for more truth’s here.

    As coin collector’s, are we fed up yet?.

    For years we have all thrown our fishing gear into hinged tackle boxes with worm proof drawers and pre-selected bait storage trays that were more suited for nuts and bolts than fishing tackle. Worm proof, does such a thing really exist? Just what does worm proof mean anyhow? Did any of you have worms trying to break into your tackle boxes? I remember my plastic worms being a huge congealed ball of goo each time I wanted one. How about those hooks? Were they ever where you put them, or did they have a mind of their own and move to the tackle trays to snare space with your lures, leaders, and other gear? Ring any bells?. Now let’s talk about these grading companies for a bit here to. Are those plastic air tights PVC free and acid free etc?. Do they melt as well, when put next to other plastics, hard or soft?. I never really trusted them. Remember those rubber bands you had in that jar covered, and you needed one several months later, they to are all stuck together, in a ball. This gets better here as well. Let’s go on. I know it may be better to get coins in a slab and graded also, so they say, I don’t care what third party grading company ones sends them to, one could get it back then send it to a different one and it comes back with a lower or higher grade, plus the background you can request whatever you like to have on it, any word’s you like it to read, any pictures on them, and a host of other thing’s also, in other word’s they are not consistent, as they should be, other then the bar code and grade. That gets very confusing and the ANA don’t regulate it, because they really can’t tell another business what to do. No more then AAA can tell you how to drive. Now, let’s talk about coin books, you put coins into also, I really don’t care what ones they are, there’s only holes in them for a PDS or PDSS coin, where’s the holes for a complete book?. For example, let’s look at the Presidential $1 Coin that started in 2007. You have the ones each bearing the S mint mark of the United States Mint at San Francisco. Included in this set are four Presidential $1 Coins honoring past Presidents of the United States, you have the satin finish ones in the United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set, you have the P and D business strike ones, you have the type 2’s, that flipped over and was struck that way, you have the error coins to. This comes to more then just a PDS filled hole. Why don’t these so called EXPERTS talk about this?. Dealer’s selling in-complete books. Grading companies not adding these into that set. Nor calling them for what they are. It’s time I added my 2 cents worth. I have been reading Numismatic News for years. Now, it’s my turn. The negativism of non licensed coin dealers, and real coin dealers. Do you think cherrypicking is pretty much the same as stealing?. Or should people be allowed to benefit from their superior knowledge, as long as they pay the dealer the price he wants for the coin, or wishes to give to you for spot price to melt down when selling it to them?. As most people are aware, the price of gold has reached record levels (from fear of loss and hype), and is currently flirting with $1,000 an ounce. Silver has more than tripled in just over 3 years, rising from $6.40 in Jan. 2005 to about $20 an ounce today. Pawn shops, jewelry stores, and so called coin dealers are all doing a very brisk business in buying gold and silver coin items from customers who want to cash in. Most of this gets melted down and/or resold fairly quickly at a real high price over gray sheet in a market like this. But should coin dealers be melting down the very treasures they are charged to protect and conserve for future generations of collectors?. Are some coins okay to melt but not others?. Personally, I am appalled at this mass melting of U.S. coinage. Perhaps this is an attitude found more commonly among the collectors of ancient coins than the modern coin collectors, but I see coin collectors and dealers as stewards of our national heritage. Not phony con-artist’s. These coins can never be replaced, and coin collectors have a duty to conserve and protect this heritage to pass down to future generations. After all, we can’t take them with us when we die, so melting them for bullion is just selfish and antisocial. On the other side of the coin, however, are the folks who believe that if you pay for the coin, you own it. It’s yours to do whatever you want with it, even destroy it by tossing it into the melting pot. It’s bad enough Coin Club’s are disappearing at an alarming rate, like the drive in movie places, use to be years ago, how is our children of today, going to find that coin, to put in a empty hole in a book, when the silver coins are all melted down for 10 times face, that gave some coin dealer 77 ounces of silver for $100 face value of silver coins and, kills the knowledge of what coin collecting is all about, "Children", and our hobby, and The Family.

  9. hharrison says:

    Not sure if this is the right place for this question, but there seem to be some folks on here that might know. So, here goes: What becomes of the unsold non-bullion proof and mint sets and coins that are in them once sales are discontinued? Are they distributed for sale until sold out at the mint gift shops? Are they put into circulation? Are they stored in a vault somewhere? With the exception of the nickel alloy, it seems that you wouldn’t melt cents, dimes, quarters, halves, or dollars because of the expense involved in reformulating and recasting their special alloy and lamination properties. So where do unsold set coins go? Thanks.

    • Connor Falk says:

      Hello hharrison,

      The coins in unsold clad mint and proof sets are removed and melted down once sales are discontinued. Refiners are able to separate out the metals in the coins during the process.

      Any mint or proof set coins you find in circulation were most likely put there by a buyer who broke open the set for some of the coins and spent the others.

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