Coins - 1970 Proof
The US Mint first introduced the proof set in the blue box with a hard plastic container for the coins, called a
lens, in 1968. This was after a short hiatus from Proof Sets. The US Mint did not make Proof Sets in 1965, 1966 or
1967, instead the Mint made Special Mint Sets for those years.
The 1970 proof set contained several different varieties. The most notable are the small date cent and the no
1970 Proof Set Package
The 1970 Proof Set provides an example of the packaging for the proof set years of 1968 through 1972. On the
1970 box, however, the writing, "United States Proof Set • 1970," moved from the bottom of the box to the top flap.
(Note: In the early years of the box and plastic lens, the US Mint tried several different outer boxes. The
pictures below show only one version.)
The outer blue box dimensions are roughly 3 1/2 by 5 3/8 by 3/8 inches.
The lens consists of two pieces of hard plastic forming a sandwich around a black insert. The insert immobilizes
the coins to prevent movement within the lens.
1970 Proof Set Contents and Proof Coins
The box opens by lifting the flap from under the written section and the lens slides into the box from the
bottom. (Note: The acrylic easel is for display only and was not part of the proof set.)
The lens shows the obverse of the coins. Notice at the top of the lens is the iconic eagle from the obverse of
the Great Seal of the United States. The eagle holds arrows and olive branches in his talons and a shield covers
his chest between his outspread wings. A similar version of this eagle is on the reverse of the Kennedy half
The reverse of the proof set shows off the eagle on the half dollar. In the upper left corner, the small print
says, "PACKAGED BY THE US MINT."
In the middle below the half dollar, the script identifies, "United States Proof Set."
The 1970 half dollar continued with the John F. Kennedy image on the obverse, however this coin could only be
obtained by purchasing either the US Mint's proof or mint sets. In addition, this was the last year for the 40%
Silver Clad half dollars. This coin was first introduced in 1964 after the assasination of President Kennedy. The
words on the obverse include "LIBERTY" across the top and "IN GOD WE TRUST" across the bottom of the bust. The date
follows the circle of the coin at the bottom. The coin's reverse shows the Presidential Coat of Arms from the Great
Seal. "E PLURIBUS UNUM" flows on a banner between the eagles outspread wings, and the inscriptions "UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA" and "HALF DOLLAR" encircle the top and bottom of the coin's reverse image. The initial 1964 proof half
had the mint mark on the reverse just below and to the left of the eagle's talons holding the olive branches. After
the proof set hiatus, the mint mark on the 1968 and to date Kennedy half coins occurs on the obverse just above the
middle of the date and to the right of the bust.
Obverse Designer: Gilroy Roberts
Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
The 1970 quarter continued the version introduced in 1932. The obverse design included the portrait of George
Washington and the words: "LIBERTY," "IN GOD WE TRUST" and the date. On the reverse, an eagle stands with wings
outspread clutching a bunch of arrows in its talons with two olive sprays crossed beneath his tail feathers. The
words on the reverse include: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "QUARTER DOLLAR." The 1970 quarter
dollar contained a core of pure copper clad in a copper (75%) and nickel (25%) blend. Initially, the mint mark for
the quarter was on the reverse, but starting in 1968, the mint mark moved to the obverse just to the right of
Washington's hair at his neck.
Obverse Designer: John Flanagan
Reverse Designer: John Flanagan
The 1970 dime continued the image of President Franklin Roosevelt on the obverse. The words on the obverse
include "LIBERTY," "IN GOD WE TRUST" and the year. The coin's reverse shows an olive branch, a torch and an oak
branch with the words "E PLURIBUS UNUM" across them. The words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" flow around the top of
the reverse with "ONE DIME" on the bottom. The metal content of the 1970 dime included a core of copper with outer
layers of copper (75%) and nickel (25%) blended together. Of particular interest, some of the 1970 proof set dimes
do not contain the "S" mint mark.
Obverse Designer: John Sinnock
Reverse Designer: John Sinnock
Five Cents (Nickel):
The Jefferson nickel introduced in 1938 continued in the 1970 proof set. The words on the face of the coin say
"IN GOD WE TRUST," "LIBERTY" and the year. The nickel's reverse shows Jefferson's historic home, Monticello, in
Charlottesville, Virginia. "E PLURIBUS UNUM" fits above Monticello, and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "MONTICELLO"
and "FIVE CENTS" show below the home. In 1966, the designer's initials were added under Jefferson's neck. And in
1968, the mint mark moved to the obverse of the coin to the right of Jefferson's hair near the edge of the
Obverse Designer: Felix Schlag
Reverse Designer: Felix Schlag
The Lincoln cent continued in 1970, but to collectors' delight, there were different versions. The three most
notable varieties include the small date with a high "7," the large date with a low "7" and the doubled die
obverse. The motto, "IN GOD WE TRUST" was first introduced on coins with the Lincoln cent. The coin's obverse also
includes "LIBERTY" and the date. The 1970 cent's reverse shows the Lincoln Memorial with the inscriptions saying
"UNITED STATES oF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "ONE CENT." (Have you noticed all the letters are capitalized
except the "o" in "oF?")
Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
1970 Proof Set Year Population and Cost of Living
The world population in 1970 was 3,692,492,000. In 2010, the world population is estimated at 6,811,600,000
$100 in 1970 equals $558.61 in 2010 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator.
New houses in 1970 cost $23,400 which would be $130,714.93 today.
The average income was $9,350 per year ($52,230.11 in today's dollars).
Gas was $.36 per gallon ($2.01 in today's money).
The average new car was $3900 ($21,785.82).
(Chart views into the cost of living changes throughout the Proof Set