Friday, July 25, 2014

The Price of Proof Sets

When I started buying proof sets from the Mint in the mid 1950's, the price for 91 cents of face value coins was $2.10.   That was an increase from the pre-1950 price of $1.89 and it stayed at $2.10 until 1965, when no proofs were issued but a "Special Mint Set" could be ordered for $4.00.

When proofs resumed in 1968, the price was raised to $5.00.  The coins were now enclosed in a more solid holder, so I suppose the price increase had some justification, but that and the ugly clad coins turned me off and I stopped buying proof sets.

I did buy a 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver set last year. That also is in a better holder, and cost  me $36.90.  The coins are silver, so there may be some argument for that price, but even the 14 coin 2014 proof set (no silver) is $27.95.

Certainly it's good that coin collectors can help defray some of our taxes by giving the Mint these astonishing profit margins, but is it really necessary to charge so much? As a young boy with a $2 weekly allowance, I could afford the $2.10 yearly expense, but I wonder if $27.95 is so easy for today's 7-10 year olds. Perhaps it is: Average Allowances in America, by Age says that $16 per week is about average.

It still seems too expensive to this old fogey.


Clue for the second 2014 Silver Eagle Giveaway: The Lovett Cent

Note:  All my coins are in a safe deposit box.  I keep nothing in my home. 

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