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Mint packaging can be a problem

Is it safe to leave my proof coins and mint sets in the packaging they were in when I received them from the Mint?


As a general rule, the proof set hard plastic packaging is airtight, but the plastic envelopes used for the mint sets are not. Several world mints that use similar mint set packaging state specifically that it is not intended for long-term storage. The coins would be better off in an airtight holder, anyway. However, traders in the secondary market prefer the original packaging.

Please explain the difference between a year set, a date set and a date and mint set?

A year set consists of one coin of a given series for each year they were struck. The coin can be from any one of the mints. A date set is another term for a year set, but a date and mint set contains examples for each date, and for each mint for that date. The same set from a source outside the Mint is still a mint set, but not a Mint-packaged set, an important difference.

I know that new mints have been proposed for a number of states, including our neighbor to the south, but has there ever been one proposed for North Dakota?

I didn’t think so, since North Dakota is not exactly noted for any gold or silver production. It might well be confused with South Dakota, which does have large gold deposits. But there actually was a bill submitted in 1964 in the Senate to establish a mint in North Dakota. Both it and a companion bill introduced at about the same time to build a mint in Illinois disappeared without trace in the halls of Capitol Hill.

Has Congress ever tried to legislate against coin collecting?

The closest call came in the mid 1960s when Senator Alan Bible of Nevada submitted a bill to outlaw coin collecting. It was based on the false premise that the collectors were to blame for the big coin shortage of the time.

In answering another question, you mentioned the gold union and half union coin proposals, but wasn’t there a silver union as well?

I would bet that I could stump the vast majority of experts with this question, as I found only a single obscure reference to a silver union coin – the proposed name for the U.S. Trade dollar.

Wasn’t there supposed to be a Bicentennial gold coin?

A proposal was introduced in 1973 in a bill to allow private ownership of gold, but the Bicentennial coin fell by the wayside.

What were the first authorized U.S. gold coins?

The gold quarter eagle ($2.50) and the double eagle ($20) were authorized by Congress April 2, 1792, but the half eagle ($5) was the first struck.

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More Collecting Resources

• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700 is your guide to images, prices and information on coins from so long ago.

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.