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Collecting the SMS Coins Of 1965-1967

The mid-1960s was a colorful time in american numismatics, with the United States Mint making a series of changes to accommodate a atrocious coin dearth brought on by far-flung billboard of 90 % silver circulate dimes, quarters, and half dollars as the price of argent rose. To lessen the cost of producing circulating coinage, the United States Mint switched the musical composition of the dime bag and one-fourth to copper-nickel dress, reduced the come of silver in the half dollar to 40 %. And to help dissuade the removal of coins from circulation, the mint temporarily removed mintmarks from all coins beginning in 1965. During that same year, mint officials stopped making annual proof sets and uncirculated sets, and rather focused on the production of circulating neologism .
But all was not lost for collectors, who were offered a new type of annual coin intersection called a limited Mint Set ( typically abbreviated SMS ). These particular Mint Sets consist of a single Lincoln Cent, Jefferson Nickel, Roosevelt Dime, Washington Quarter, and Kennedy Half Dollar and represent a numismatic marriage of the uncirculated sets and proof sets .
The coins in the special Mint Set were struck at the San Francisco Mint with polished dies and blanks and boast higher-quality finishes than seen on typical uncirculated coins. however, SMS coins were generally not hit multiple times ( as with most proof coins ) and in many cases were not polished at the mint to the same degree as proof coins. frankincense, coins in the special Mint Sets by and large do not match the quality of typical proof neologism. These sets were issued by the mint for $ 4 each – closely double the price of the 1964 proof set and uncirculated jell, issued at $ 2.10 and $ 2.40, respectively .

A Closer Look at the 1965-67 Special Mint Sets

1967 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar PCGS SP68. Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts®. Click image to enlarge.

While the particular Mint Sets of the mid-1960s were in production for only three years inclusive, they yielded a surprising number of noteworthy variations. possibly the most obvious of outward changes to the located over the course of those three production years is the promotion of the 1965 stage set versus the 1966 and 1967 sets .
The 1965 special Mint Set was issued in ductile fictile packaging exchangeable to the proof and uncirculated sets of the former decade. The 1965 set contains a single Pliofilm packet with six plastered pockets, five containing each of the five coins and the sixth housing a united states navy blue- and silver-colored credit card token with a silhouette design of a heraldic eagle and the words “ UNITED STATES SPECIAL MINT SET. ” The set comes with a certificate describing the modern set, and all these materials are packaged together in a cream-colored forbidden composition envelope .
major packaging changes debuted the future class for the 1966 and ( belated ) 1967 sets, which come in a rigid two-piece plastic holder containing merely the five SMS coins. This plastic holder is packaged in a navy-blue box emblazoned with the words “ UNITED STATES SPECIAL MINT SET ” in cream-colored writing. But the packaging for the 1966 and 1967 sets international relations and security network ’ t the only major eminence between these and the 1965 sets. The choice of the coins themselves are notably unlike from year to year a well.

While all the SMS neologism exhibits far better hit and overall nice quality than most uncirculated coins of the period, there was a major shift in the choice of the SMS coins during the three years these extra Mint Sets were in product. The 1965 SMS neologism generally offers satin finishes with properly luster but short coefficient of reflection in the fields. relatively few 1965 SMS coins offer cameo contrast on the devices, letter, and other raised features. many collectors were less than impressed with the timbre and display of the 1965 SMS coins and demanded better specimens. The United States Mint kicked things up a notch with the especial Mint Sets beginning the follow year .
The 1966 and specially the 1967 coins much more closely resemble proof coins, with much more deeply reflective fields and the lift features of early strikes often showcasing full-bodied, frost surfaces. While each of these SMS coins was struck with a special ( SP ) finish, some of the nicest pieces appear virtually indistinguishable from cameo proof. even calm, there are some surface discrepancies between the most exquisite SMS coins and typical proofread coins : the general absence of crystal-clear hour details frequently seen in proofread coins and the muted but undeniable appearance of stream lines in the fields, interrupting the reeking smoothness in the fields more typical of proof coins .

The SMS Marketplace

distribution figures for the particular Mint Sets are uniformly eminent, each year boasting mintages of around 2 million. The 1965 set saw a mintage of 2,360,000, while 2,261,583 sets were made in 1966 and 1,863,344 were produced in 1967. intact sets in their original government promotion remain common in the market today and by and large trade for around $ 10 a man. however, more and more are getting dissected to harvest individual coins within. One of the most park reasons for breaking up special Mint Sets is to submit a peculiarly nice-looking mint for grading. And SMS coins that grade top grades are deserving adult bucks.

many high-grade 1965, 1966, and 1967 SMS coins easily notch three- and four-figure prices. These pieces much find homes in PCGS Registry Sets, several of which accommodate SMS coins for each of their respective serial. Collectors have a diverseness of choices when buying SMS coins, which are graded with assorted designations akin to proof coins, including CAM and DCAM, while the extra designations of Red, Red and Brown, and Brown enforce to the versatile SMS Lincoln Cents .
Providing extra numismatic relish to the parade of SMS coins is the universe of minor and major varieties for several of the SMS issues. Among these are two significant varieties among 1966 SMS Kennedy Half Dollars. These include the 1966 Doubled Die Obverse and 1966 No “ FG ” varieties. The former exhibits doubling within the motto “ IN GOD WE TRUST ” and across the profile of Kennedy, while the latter is missing couturier Frank Gasparro ’ s “ FG ” initials ampere would normally be seen barely under the eagle ’ s left second joint and above the tailfeathers in the lower right quadrant of the turn back .
One of the many fantastic things about collecting SMS coins of the mid 1960s is the wide range of price. These coins are low-cost for just about any collector, careless of budget limitations. individual PCGS-graded SMS coinage in typical SP grades can be bought for less than $ 15 to $ 20 each. But PCGS Set Registry members who are after major grade-point averages and the title of finest set will gladly pay hand-over-fist for the nicest specimens. The presence of a pair significant varieties and the handiness of the scarce and desirable cameo and deep cameo coins ensure something for good about everyone who ventures into the sphere of SMS coins struck from 1965 through 1967 .

Works Cited
  • Breen, Walter. Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins. Doubleday, 1988.
  • Fivaz, Bill and J.T. Stanton. Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins. Whitman Publishing, 2012.
  • Taylor, Sol. “The Years of No Mintmarks.” SCV History.
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