Proof coin sets are an all-time favorite for most coin collectors. From veteran numismatists to brand new hobbyists, these coins strike a special chord in our hearts and in our minds. They are certainly special too, being struck a certain way and made out of certain metals and looking wholly unlike any other type of coin made for circulation or collection.
It’s always fun to collect proof sets, and this is actually how a lot of coin collectors get into the hobby initially. Proof sets make great gifts for family members and loved ones, and a lot of coin enthusiasts who have been collecting for years started decades ago with their first proof set.
When you think about it, where else is it that you can find such beautiful and pristine examples of United States Mint coins than in a proof set that are affordable and pretty easy to get? Sure, incredibly rare, brilliant uncirculated coins are available, but that’s a pretty tough market to get into from the get go as the cost is so exorbitantly high right off the bat.
Proof sets offer a pleasant and workable alternative. They are pretty, they are preserved nicely, and they tend to hold their value or accrue slightly higher value. They are affordable for almost any collector, and they can have meaning and significance that other coins do not have.
Ways to Collect Proof Sets
Listed below are some great ways to get started with collecting proof sets:
Start by giving them out as gifts, but buy two sets every time you do so. That way, you can give one set as a gift, and keep the other set for yourself!
It’s fun to collect proof sets from years that have a special significance to you. Were you born in the year 1964? Married in the year 1988? Had your first kid in the year 1991? Why not buy proof sets from any or all of the years that have been important to you, and thus have another way of remembering these years?
Collecting a lifetime of proof sets is a great way to go about it, and it makes the whole process into a fun game. A great way to assemble a collection of proof sets is to buy one from every year you’ve been alive, starting with your birth year. This can be a cheap project for those born since the mid-1960s and challenging (that is expensive) for those born in the 1950s or before, as the price goes up prior to that. Either way though, having a run of proof sets from your entire life is a great project for any endeavoring coin collector and can be something fun to work on year after year.
Most coin collectors will agree that you can never go wrong with buying silver proof sets, and this is how a lot of people get into coin collecting. Buying proof sets that are made before 1965 contain dimes, quarters, and half dollars that are made out of 90% silver. From 1965 through 1970 though, only the half dollar contained silver, and even that was just about 40% content. In 1976, a special 3-coin set of Bicentennial coins included a 40% silver quarter, half dollar, and dollar coin. For a while there was no silver at all in any proof sets, but then beginning in 1992 the United States Mint started to offer special proof sets that contained 90% silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars and the trend was rekindled.
Listed above are just a few of the ways people get started with buying proof sets. Anyone can get into it any way they want to. Probably the most common is to start with buying one set for every year that the collector has been alive, starting with some of the easier, cheaper years and then advancing to the more expensive years and the more exciting times later on. One way or another though, different people have different tastes and techniques with these coins, yet almost all coin collectors one and the same love them and cherish them.