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Cheaper proof set ready for release

What does it mean for collectors to have no Presidential dollars for the first time since 2006?

For starters, they will get a cheaper proof set.

The clad and base metal group of proof coins has dropped in price by $5 to $26.95.

It goes on sale at noon Eastern Daylight Time today.

Last year’s set had the final three Presidential dollars in it.

The cost then was $31.95.

So I guess that means collectors who want this year’s set in a way get a $2 tip.

Face value is reduced by $3, the price by $5.

Will this new price be viewed as more reasonable?

Will the many collectors who have fallen away start buying this annual set again?

The Mint hopes so.

There is one proof dollar coin remaining in the set.

It is the Native American design. Sacagawea is on obverse, where she has been since the year 2000.

On the reverse of this dollar coin is a design showing Sequoyah writing “Sequoyah from Cherokee Nation” in syllabary along the border of the design.

He is the scholar who gave his people a written language.

Five coins in the set are this year’s America the Beautiful quarter designs.

Only 2017’s first quarter design, for Iowa’s Effigy Mounds National Monument, is in circulation.

Acquiring this proof set is one way of getting ahold of the other designs early.

The remaining coins in the set are the cent, nickel, dime and half dollar.

Loyal buyers of proof sets often are motivated by the need to keep their ongoing sets current.

That doesn’t mean they need all the coins in the proof set, but they might need a proof Lincoln or proof Jefferson that is available in no other way.

With so much choice available in other consumer fields, perhaps the time has come for the Mint to offer each proof coin individually.

Collectors can already buy the five quarters in a separate set.

Even selling the other five coins as a set might not be a bad idea. They are already packaged together.

Is there a potential demand for just the proof dollar, half dollar, dime, nickel and cent in a standard plastic holder? The Mint should find out.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."