Coins - 1965 Special Mint
Without mint marks on the coins, the 1965 Special Mint Set contained only five coins along with a blue token in
a pliofilm sleeve. The set did contain some silver in the half dollar coin with its 40% silver metal content.
The 1965 Special Mint Set arrived in a white outer envelope with "1965 - S. S." in the lower left corner and the
address of the San Francisco Assay Office (the mint) in the upper left corner.
1965 Special Mint Set Package
The US Mint packaged the 1965 Special Mint Set in its pliofilm sleeve between two pieces of card stock and
included a message about the set.
The message from the Director of the Mint introduced the new Special Mint Set and alerted the collector to the
new clad coins included in the set. (A larger version of
the Director of the Mint's message provides more information.)
1965 Special Mint Set Uncirculated Coins
The clear pliofilm contained six separate compartments in the 1965 Special Mint Set. On the obverse, the penny
dime and nickel coins show across the top with the blue token, half dollar and quarter coins across the bottom.
Turned over, the clear pliofilm shows the reverse of the coins. Each coin's compartment is sealed to keep the
coins separated in addition to the seal around the outer edge.
The blue token shows the same design and inscription on both sides.
1965 Special Mint Set Coins and Metals
The 1965 Special Mint Set's coins contained the following metals:
Penny: 95% copper; 5% zinc
Nickel: 75% copper; 25% nickel
Dime: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Quarter: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Half Dollar: 60% copper; 40% silver (.1479 troy ounce of pure silver)
Click on Mint Set Population to view the contents of the sets
through the years. Take a look at the overall Mint Set page to see how the values
compare among the sets.
1965 Special Mint Set Year - News about Coins and the US Mint
(note: the below links to newspapers open in a new window)
US Coins Are Rated as Perfect
The Spokesman-Review - Feb 11, 1965
Annual ritual of testing the weight and quality of the coins held in Philadelphia by four women and 20 men. They
inspected, counted and weighed samples from "pyxides" - small sealed boxes - and found them of high quality. The
commission only checked dimes, quarters and halves not pennies and nickels. The Director of the Mint
assured the mint's processes were as good for those coins. Working three shifts 24/7 to attack coin
shortage...coins have "1964" year until shortage is "wiped out."
Beaver County Times - Feb 12, 1965
The Senate Banking Committee approved the nomination of Frank Gasparro as chief sculptor and engraver at the Mint
in Philadelphia. Gasparro began with the Mint in 1942 and designed the reverse of the Kennedy half dollar and the
reverse of the then-current Lincoln penny.
Silver Cartwheels Now on Their Way
The Spokesman-Review - May 17, 1965
The Denver Mint making 45 million silver dollars for the first time since 1935. Senator Mike Mansfield pushed for
the new silver dollars with President Johnson.
Johnson Dollars Will be Scarce
The News-Dispatch May 21, 1965
Congressmen, coin dealers and Treasury officials claimed that the 45 million "silver cartwheels" approved by
President Johnson would never make it into circulation. Instead, they would be held by hoarders, coin collectors
Turnabout Is Good Judgement
The Lewiston Daily Sun - May 27, 1965
A serious silver shortage made it no longer logical to mint 45 million silver dollars. It would have taken 38
million ounces of scarce silver to make the dollars. Plus, the dollars would not relieve the coin shortage of the
time. The silver shortage was blamed on coin operated machines, a national coin collecting craze and increased
industrial use of silver.
Johnson Wants Silver Eliminated From Coins
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jun 4, 1965
President Johnson recommended the most drastic change in US Coinage today since the first mint was established in
1792: the virtual elimination of silver in coins. The elimination of silver in the dime and quarter along with the
reduction of silver in the half dollar would allow the treasury to continue to keep the silver price in the $1.25
to $1.29 range. Also, the electrical properties of the new clad coins would permit their use in the nation's 12
million vending machines.
Legislation To Remove Silver Awaits Signing
Williamson Daily News - Jul 16, 1965
Congress passed legislation to change the metal content of the dime, quarter and half dollar. The legislation
awaits President Johnson's signature. The Treasury Secretary announced plans to mint 3.5 billion of the new coins
in the first year of production.
US Coin Lack May Get Worse
Spokane Daily Chronicle - Jul 27, 1965
An officer of the Federal Reserve Bank speculated that the coin shortage could get worse until the new Philadelphia
Mint opened in roughly two years. No half dollars exist which causes runs on the dimes and quarters.
US to Start Minting Silverless Coins Monday
The Tuscaloosa News - Aug 20, 1965
The new quarter without any silver begins production at 10:30am on Monday at the Philadelphia Mint, the new
half-dollar with 40% silver will be produced at the Denver Mint starting on Nov 1. The new dime begins production
by Dec 15, possibly at both mints. The new coins won't go into circulation until the quantities are large enough,
meanwhile the silver coins will continue to be minted to maintain coinage supplies. The dollar coins will continue
to be 90% silver, but under the new law, none can be minted for at least five years.
Calif. Mint Will Reopen
Meriden Journal - Aug 31, 1965
The San Francisco Mint, closed for ten years - will reopen for five years at which time the decision will be made
to continue operations. Production will be limited to pennies at first according to Eva Adams, Director of the
The 1965 Special Mint Set Year included a variety of coin and US Mint news including shortages and changes in
the silver content of the coins.