Coins - 1968 Mint
With the return of mint marks in 1968, the US Mint produced a 1968 mint set. Ten coins of the Philadelphia,
Denver and San Francisco mints were in an envelope in two pliofilm sleeves. The clad coins moved more freely in
circulation, and in the uncirculated mint set, the half dollar was the only one containing silver at 40%.
For the 1968 mint set, the US Mint went back to using the plain white envelope to hold the uncirculated coins.
In the lower left corner, "1968 — U. C." identifies the set. The upper left corner shows the address of the
United States Assay Office in San Francisco (the mint).
1968 Mint Set Package
The two pliofilm sleeves holding the coins were sandwiched between two pieces of cardstock inside the
1968 Mint Set Uncirculated Coins
One pliofilm contains the five coins minted in Denver. The pliofilm has red edges and includes a token
printed with red ink. The blue edged pliofilm includes the four coins minted in Philadelphia, the penny minted
in San Francisco and a blue printed token.
The mint set's pliofilm sleeves hold the uncirculated coins in their individual compartments,
but the loose compartments allow the coins to rotate freely.
The coins' reverse images can be readily seen through the clear pliofilm. The tokens identifying
the mints have the same printing on the front and the back.
The red printed token in the 1968 mint set identifies that sleeve as having "Coins of the Denver
Similarly, the blue printed token shows "Coins of the Philadelphia Mint & San Francisco Assay Office."
The San Francisco facility primarily minted proof coins, however they did produce pennies for circulation and for
the uncirculated mint sets.
1968 Mint Set Coins and Metals
The 1968 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.
1968 Mint Set Year - News about Coins and the US Mint
(note: the below links to newspapers open in a new window)
1968 US Coins to Carry Their Mint Mark
Sarasota Herald-Tribune Mar 17, 1968
On Jan 4, 1968, the mint marks returned to US coins after being gone since 1964. For coins minted in San Francisco
and Denver, they will have "S" and "D" mint marks, respectively. Additionally, with the return of the mint marks,
some are moving from the reverse to the obverse of the coins. For example, the mint mark on the nickel will not
longer be on the reverse beside Monticello, instead it will be on the obverse to the right of Jefferson and under
'Silver Nickel' Is In Demand Again
The Miami News - Mar 18, 1968
With the silver prices beginning to rise, people are paying more for the 'silver nickels' minted during the war
years when the nickel metal was needed for the war efforts. Congress granted authority to the US Mint to change the
metals of the five cent pieces. Between 1942 and 1945, over 870 million of the 'silver nickels' were minted. The
coins' metal content consisted of 56% copper, 35% silver and 9% manganese. In 1968, people paid $3.50 for a 40 coin
roll of 'silver nickels.'
Certificate Deadline Triggers Silver Rush
The Press-Courier - Mar 28, 1968
The previous year, Congress voted to remove any silver backing of the US currency within a year. With the deadline
approaching, the US Mint advertised a deadline of June 24 (1968) to turn in the paper money with "Silver
Certificate" across the top. A steady stream of people arrived at the San Francisco Mint with their currency which
they traded for silver bars at $1.29 per ounce. But, as of the date of the newspaper, those same bars could be
immediately sold for $2.25.
The Evening Independent - May 11, 1968
The comedy "Who's Minding the Mint" released in 1968 included $315,000 in real money. The movie's story line
included a bumbling employee of the US Mint who inadvertently took home and destroyed $50,000. He, his love
interest, and several nefarious characters planned to re-print and replace the money along with $1 million each for
Deadline in Silver Passed
Daytona Beach Morning Journal - Jun 24, 1968
On the last day of the silver rush, roughly 500 persons waited in line to trade their silver certificate currency
for the silver metal. After Jun 24 (1968), the silver certificate bills will be worth just a dollar.
US to Mint 75 Million New Canadian Dimes
The Montreal Gazette - Aug 22, 1968
Like the US, Canada decided to change their silver-based coinage to cupronickel. They, too, experienced a shortage
in small denomination coins. Canadian authorities contracted with the US Mint to manufacture 75 million new dimes
at a cost of roughly $1.5 million. This was the first time Canada had contracted with any other country,
except Great Britain, to assist with their coinage. Royal Canadian Mint technicians worked with their counterparts
at the US Mint on the dies and the overall minting process.
Mint Halts Proof Sets
The Palm Beach Post - Nov 8, 1968
The director of the Mint announced they had received more than the maximum of three million orders for the next
year's proof set (1969). Late orders would be returned. Production would begin in January with delivery by mail
throughout the year.
The 1968 Mint Set Year included news about silver coins and silver certificates.