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Community Voice Responses (February 5, 2019)

From the Jan. 11 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:


Should the Mint abolish proof sets and sell all proof coins individually?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

I would surely hope they wouldn’t do away with the proof set! I love the look when the package is all nice and neat, and the group together wouldn’t just be the same split up with no offering for a complete set. I am a proponent of having them for sale individually, but please don’t do away with the complete set. It would be a travesty.

Tony Brubaker
Elkton, Md.

My answer is NO – the selling of individual proof coins would be labor intensive, and the cost would not help the collector with his collecting needs.

Howard Rogers
St. Albans, W.Va.

Yes! And eliminate the bulky packing that takes up extra space to store and adds cost.

Frank White
Address withheld

I truly think sets are the way it should be. This has been a good thing, unless it can prove to be a savings. In prior coin shows, I have seen singles for sale. If this can be part of the cost saving method, why not? Some singles can be sold after sets have been sold. For the $4.50 shipping fee, why not? If someone orders sets, offer a discount ($3) for those who get the sets. This is only a fair thing to do.

A prior limit of five sets can still be held in place.

Gary Kess
Sherman, Texas

NO!!! If they do, what about us long- time collectors who want to keep our collection of proof sets going?

Donald Benjamin Sr.
Crown Point, Ind.

I do not think that the Mint should get rid of proof sets. This might just be another reason to get the prices higher, as it might cost more to produce, package, and ship the proof coins individually. Each year I buy two clad and two silver proof sets. I break one of each type up to put in my Danscos and keep one each intact. (By the way, if you ever want to, you can actually put them all back together to make a complete proof set again. However, as I am sure you can imagine, that cannot be done with the Mint’s sets as the packaging gets completely destroyed in the same dismemberment process).

Dave Burdis
Charleroi, Pa.

I have a collection of proof sets, so I’ll vote to keep them.

Tom Davis
Winston, Ga.

The U.S Mint should keep making the proof sets!

Charles Landess
Evensville, Tenn.

Why ever would they want to do that? With recent packaging, the Mint has managed to oversell quite a few coin sets. Take the Presidential dollars, for example. There was a lens of them for every set purchased, whether you wanted them or not.

On the pro side, there is plenty of historical precedent, because that was the way proof coins were sold. But how would it work nowadays? Say I wanted a single cent: how much would it be (a buck?), and how much postage would be added ($4.95?). That would make it a very expensive coin considering what you got.

Would each individual coin have the same pricing/postage schedule? The Mint would certainly rake in the money if that were the case.

I think this is a terrible idea, with the unintended consequence of killing the proof coin segment of the hobby.

Bob Fritsch
Nashua, N.H.

No! Proof sets have been the centerpiece of the U.S. Mint’s production for collectors since 1937.

What they need to do is also sell the coins individually. I see a lot of proof singles at coin shows. Obviously there is a market, and the Mint should cash in on it.

Ken Freeze
Martinez, Calif.

Why would that happen? My opinion after 50 years is no.

Wayne Morris
Frankfort, Ky.

Keep the sets but also offer single coins as well.

Don Bearly
Address withheld


Don Goldman
Address withheld

Keep proof sets. Because in a proof set you get major U.S. coins in a set.

Bill Therrell
Address withheld

No, sets should stay. Sets provide a more complete collection for dates, mintmarks, metal composition, finishes, and type coins. Occasionally one coin in a set may for whatever reason skyrocket in value. If the coins were only available individually, one could easily miss out.

New collectors often start out buying mint sets. If anything, the Mint should think about adding coins to some sets. For example, the silver American Eagle should also be offered in the Silver Proof Set rather than in the 8-Piece Limited Edition Silver Proof Set.

One argument could be made, though, for those who only collect individual graded and slabbed coins.

Having the choice of loose coins or sets should remain as it is.

Steve McGowan
Algonac, Mich.

No way. Proof sets make great collectibles/gifts to commemorate a year or special occasion and have a rich history going back decades. While I understand some collectors want only individual coins to fill holes in their albums, these are readily obtainable on the secondary market. Maybe a better alternative would be for the Mint to offer proof coins individually and in sets? But eliminating proof sets is not the way to go.

Mark Vezzola
San Diego, Calif.

No, the Mint should continue to sell proof sets.

Randy L. Camper
Lima, Ohio

If the Mint were to sell proof coins individually, the only advantage would be to FedEx and the post office. The added cost per coin would be a little less than $4.95 each.

Gerald Knight
Address withheld

I think that the Mint should sell proof sets. They are supposed to be the best of the best, theoretically. And it also allows for people to look for error coins as well.

Anthony Meister
Address withheld

I think that proof sets sold as cheap as they do hurts the collector. Sell the proofs at an increased price.

In that way, it will increase the price for the collector and will cause a less, or should cause a less, Mint demand.

The least amount minted makes for a higher demand, thereby increasing the price for collectors.

Wayne Moore
Address withheld

Absolutely not! They are NOT coins for general circulation and should be sold in sets only for collectors.

If someone wants individual coins, then break the set open and put each of them into a sealed coin holder, or spend them at the local booze joint!

Richard Neider
Address withheld

If people aren’t purchasing proof sets, do we think that people will purchase proof coins as an alternative? I doubt it.

Jeremy Schneider
Address withheld

Absolutely not. We have to buy everything piecemeal. That’s a lot of extra mail. And a larger cost to us. Who comes up with this nonsense? It’s the craziest thing I have heard. I have been collecting 26 years. I still keep some books going for the kids.

And now you want to make that harder? Did anyone think this through? It’s not logical. It’s part of our collecting for decades.

You know what? Do what you want. This happens I won’t be the only one to give up. Many will. It’s just plain stupid.

Michael Byrne
Address withheld

The Mint should sell complete and/or partial proof sets. The dollar coins should be separate (and optional). They are a waste of money.

Name and address withheld

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