Do you know what a proof coin is ? Are you wondering how to tell if a mint is proof grade or not ?
NOTE: Proof does not refer to a detail grade. Rather, proof refers to the consequence when a coin is manufactured in a extra way. Proof coins represent the finest, the very best, that any U.S. Mint has to offer in terms of quality, care, and care to detail when it comes to producing a coin.
How Proof Coins Are Made
Proof coins vary greatly from their commercial enterprise rap ( regular, circulation- quality ) counterparts. While clientele strikes are produced by the multi-millions nowadays — by machines which process the coins many at a prison term, then pile them together in heaps as they wait to be sorted, counted, and bagged for dispatch to banks — proof coins take a different path in the mint .
- The life of a proof coin starts off with being highly polished — polished enough to produce a mirror-like finish.
- These polished blanks (also called planchets) are then inspected for any flaws.
- Then, they are hand-fed into a striking machine.
- A polished die (the “stamp,” as some would think of it) impresses an image onto a coin.
- However, the die does not strike the coin just once (as is the usual case for regular coins). In fact, a proof coin will be struck multiple times — purposefully — so that the most minute details will be fully struck. This results in a coin of magnificent sharpness.
- Afterwards, these specially struck coins are carefully handled (any hands which pick these coins up are gloved, by the way) and then packaged inside a special container designed to keep the coins safe from dust, moisture, and other hazards.
U.S. Mint Proof Sets
The packages into which the proof coins are placed become the proof sets that collectors purchase. The United States has been producing proof coins since the nineteenth hundred, but only since 1936 has the U.S. Mint produced the proof sets that we know today. Proof sets have seen interruptions in production.
This is peculiarly noted during the war years of the 1940s and right up until 1950. Proof sets besides were on hiatus during the years of 1965-1967, when the U.S. Mint was nursing a coin dearth crises and assembled limited Mint Sets, which are sets of coins which possess a “ proof-like ” eat up but distinctly lack the timbre of the validation coins from earlier or later years. Until 1968, the Philadelphia mint handled proof mint duties. Since 1968, the San Francisco mint has been the independent facility for striking proof coins, except for a few exceptions .
How Proof Sets Are Sold
While the proof sets produced between 1936 and 1955 were housed in cardboard, and some from 1955 and all from 1956 through 1964 were sold in cellophane containers, particular Mint Sets were housed in hard credit card cases. such was the site when the U.S. Mint returned to regular proof set product beginning in 1968. All proof sets since 1968 have been housed in a modest assortment of hard credit card containers. From 1973 through 1982, these proof sets ( housed in bolshevik and black containers ) actually were sold with a panel which, when positioned correctly, allows the proof set to stand displayed on a desk or a ledge. however, most years of the proof sets issued since 1968 do not include this feature.
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Proof sets struck in the current year can be purchased straight from the U.S. Mint. Proof sets from former years can be bought from most coin dealers .
How Much Are Proof Coins Worth?
many people believe that proof coins are of extra monetary respect. In fact, some are, particularly error proofread coins — those which have an unintentionally missing mintmark or other mistakes.
While there are a few varieties which have rendered certain proof coins to escalate in measure, such as certain 1979 and 1981 Susan B. Anthony dollars which have clearer “ S ” mintmarks than other validation dollars minted during those years, proof coins — specially the mod proof coins struck since the 1960s — have been struck with coinage numbers passing one million or more. therefore, they are generally neither rare nor highly valuable. By the room, to further illustrate the point that “ proof ” is not a grade, consider the fact that many proof coins have been broken out of their containers over the years and have entered into circulation. These proof coins are indeed still considered proof coins, but will be graded as to the sum of clothing they bear.
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I ’ m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My sleep together for coins began when I was 11 years previous. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the twentieth hundred. I ’ m a member of the American Numismatic Association ( ANA ) and the Numismatic Literary Guild ( NLG ) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my knead as a coin journalist. I ’ m besides the editor program at the Florida United Numismatists Club ( FUN Topics magazine ), and author of Images of America : The United States Mint in Philadelphia ( a ledger that explores the colored history of the Philadelphia Mint ). I ’ ve contributed hundreds of articles for assorted coin publications including neologism, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I ’ ve authored closely 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins ( many of them with over 50K shares ), and I welcome your mint questions in the comments below !