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Coins - 1971 Mint Set

The 1971 mint set contained eleven coins. For this mint set, the US Mint added a second Kennedy half dollar and removed all silver from the coins. The coins in the set came from three mints with five coins from both Denver and Philadelphia and one coin from San Francisco.   

The mint set included two half dollar, quarter and dime cupronickel clad coins, two nickels and three one cent coins.  Though the Eisenhower dollars were minted in 1971, the US Mint packaged and sold the uncirculated coins in separate one-coin sets.

The US Mint packaged the 1971 mint set, as they had in the previous few years, in a plain white envelope with the address of the United States Assay Office in San Francisco (the mint) in the upper left corner of the envelope. The lower left corner identifies the mint set as "1971 — U. C."  where U. C. means Uncirculated Coins.

1971 Mint Set Package

1971 Mint Set 

In the envelope, two pliofilm sleeves are positioned between two pieces of cardstock that have yellowed with age. The cardstock helped protect the coins.

1971 Mint Set open 

1971 Mint Set Uncirculated Coins

Each pliofilm sleeve has six separate compartments. The red-edged pliofilm holds the five coins minted in Denver along with a token. This year, Philadelphia began minting the cupronickel Kennedy half dollars. Thus, the blue-edged pliofilm contained five coins minted in Philadelphia with the sixth compartment housing the Lincoln cent minted in San Francisco.

1971 Mint Set obverse

The six compartments in each pliofilm are sealed, yet the coins can move freely inside the space. As a result, the coins rotate into various angles in relation to one another.

Turning the clear pliofilm sleeves over, the five different reverse images for the uncirculated coins can be easily viewed.  The Bureau of the Mint token shows the same printing on the obverse and reverse views.

1971 Mint Set

The red printed token in the 1971 mint set identifies the set as "uncirculated mint set" instead of a particular mint as in the previous years.

1971 Mint Set token

1971 Mint Set Coins and Metals

The coins of the 1971 Mint Set 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: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel

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.

1971 Mint Set Year - News about Coins and the US Mint

(note: the below links to newspapers open in a new window)

New Eisenhower Dollar 
Reading Eagle - Jan 4, 1971
The Treasury Department released photos showing the new Eisenhower dollar, front and back. The coin was designed by the US Mint's chief sculptor and engraver, Frank Gasparro, whose initials appear on both sides of the coin.

Bonanza Seen In Ike Dollars
Daytona Beach Morning Journal - Feb 2, 1971
The Las Vegas casinos eagerly awaited the new Eisenhower "cartwheels." Their dollar slot machines were stored when their patrons showed little interest in playing with tokens rather than the silver dollars. Casino management expected the new dollars to be popular among the gamers and the service staff who depended on the dollar coins which were popular for tips in the past.

Mint Turns Tidy Profit On Coin
Times Daily - Mar 26, 1971
Trading for silver coin futures starts next Thursday. The coins will be US dimes, quarters and half-dollars minted in 1964 or earlier which contain 90% silver. The trading unit will be ten bags of $1000 face in each bag.

Minting of New Dollar Coins Set 
Merced Sun-Star - Mar 30, 1971
The US Mint will produce the new silver dollars starting Wednesday but without any silver. Except for the 150 million special collectors sets, the new Eisenhower dollars will be made of copper and nickel. The collectors' coins will contain 40% silver. The last silver dollars, those minted before 1935, contained 90% silver and now sell for up to $2 apiece.

The 'Cartwheel' Is Back; Dollar Coins Are Minted 
The Telegraph - Apr 2, 1971
The Director of the Mint pushed the button on the stamping machine at the San Francisco mint to begin the coining process for the new 'Ike' dollars, the first dollar coin since 1935. The late President Eisenhower's profile is on the front with an eagle landing on the moon on the back. Over four years, the Mint will produce 130 million uncirculated Ike dollars to be sold to collectors for $3 each. In June, proof versions will be minted, a total of 20 million, to be sold at $10 each. Philadelphia and Denver will produce $1 million dollar coins for circulation.

Show Costly Tiffany Glass At US Mint 
Gettysburg Times - Jun 7, 1971
Seven historic Tiffany glass mosaics were transferred from the old Philadelphia Mint to the new. Mounted in special granite frames on the massive stone walls of the lobby area, the mosaics tell the story of the ancient Roman coin minting processes. Made in 1901 at a cost of $40,000, the mosaics are valued at $420,000 today. The mosaics almost hidden at the old mint, will be illuminated by filtered spotlights
in their new location.

Mint Feels Rush For Ike Dollar
Spokane Daily Chronicle - Jul 16, 1971
The US Mint reported receiving an avalanche of orders for the collector versions of the new Eisenhower dollar. About 130 million uncirculated coins will be produced over a four year period along with 20 million proof versions.

Mint Acquires French Engraving Machines 
The Windsor Star - Jul 27, 1971
The Philadelphia mint just received a new machine, the first of the new generation of Janvier engraving machines. The machine engraves master hubs for the production of coinage dies. Made in Paris by Le Medaillier, S.A., the machine first arrived at the Franklin Mint, an affiliate of Le Medaillier, to be assembled and tested before going to the Philadelphia Mint. Being extremely durable, very few of these machines are made each year. Some of the machines still in use at mints around the world are 75 years old.

Kennedy Halves Going Unused 
The Evening Independent - Jul 28, 1971
Nearly 200 million 1971 Kennedy halves sit in storage. The Treasury Department doesn't understand why the Federal Reserve banks don't order the coins. But, the banks say the public demand for the Kennedy half dollars is too weak. Vending machines that would accept the coins remain in warehouses unused.

Millions of Ike Dollars With Silver Being Minted
Sarasota Herald-Tribune Sep 19, 1971
In addition to the Eisenhower dollars containing silver, the Canadian government ordered the Ottawa Mint to produce a British Columbia commemorative silver dollar. Additionally, ingots with names of Western mines are available. Banks offer three-ounce ingots at $12 and one-ounce bars for $3.50 each.

US Mint Has Competition
Reading Eagle - Nov 14, 1971
While the US Mint produces collector versions of the Eisenhower dollar, a small, Arab country, Ras Al Khaima, already has an Eisenhower proof coin for sale. The coin's denomination of 10 riyals contains 30 grams of pure silver and, at $7.50, costs less than the 40% silver Eisenhower proof dollar at $10.

The 1971 Mint Set Year included news of the Eisenhower dollar coin, the Kennedy half dollar coin and the trade-in of silver (1964 and earlier) coins. 


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