Coins - 1971 Proof
For 1971, the US Mint continued with the blue box containing a hard plastic lens to hold and protect the coins
for the proof set. The upper flap of the proof set box includes script lettering with "United States Proof Set •
1971" to identify the set.
1971 Proof Set Package
Due to an error in making the dies, some rare 1971 proof sets do not include the "S" mint mark on the nickel.
Other less rare varieties exist with doubling on the cent's lettering and date and on the half dollar's obverse
The 1971 Proof Set dimensions are roughly 3 1/2 by 5 3/8 by 3/8 inches for the outer blue box. The back of the
box does not contain any additional identifying information.
The box opens by sliding the flap from under the written section and the lens slides into the box from the
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.
1971 Proof Set Contents and Proof Coins
On the obverse, the case holds the five coins attractively spaced. The plastic includes the heraldic eagle from
the obverse of the Great Seal of the United States centered over the half dollar. 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 dollar.
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, the script identifies, "United States Proof Set."
The 1971 half dollar continued with the John F. Kennedy image on the obverse and was the first year of the clad
version of the coin (no silver). This coin was first introduced in 1964 after the assassination 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 mint mark
on the Kennedy half, 1968 and later, occurs on the obverse just above the middle of the date and to the right of
the bust. The 1971 proof half dollar weighed 11.34 grams and consisted of outer layers of copper-nickel (75%
copper, 25% nickel) around an inner core of pure copper.
Obverse Designer: Gilroy Roberts
Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
The 1971 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 1971 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 1971 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 1971 dime included a core of copper with outer
layers of copper (75%) and nickel (25%) blended together.
Obverse Designer: John Sinnock
Reverse Designer: John Sinnock
Five Cents (Nickel):
The Jefferson nickel introduced in 1938 continued in the 1971 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
A rare few 1971 Proof Sets will have the no-S nickel:
But, be careful when buying a no-S 1971 proof set. Nickels in the 1971 mint set and in circulation
existed without a mintmark. Someone could have opened the set and replaced the S-nickel with a non-proof no-S
nickel. Just make sure the nickel is a true proof when buying the set.
The Lincoln cent continued in 1971. The image shows Lincoln facing to the right in the portrait with his iconic
beard, suit coat and tie. 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 1971 cent's reverse shows the Lincoln Memorial with the
inscriptions saying "UNITED STATES oF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "ONE CENT."
Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
1971 Proof Set Year Population and Cost of Living
The world population in 1971 was 3,790,831,132. This represents 55.3% of the world's population in 2010.
$100 in 1971 equals $538.41 in 2010 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator.
New houses in 1971 cost $28,300 which would be $152,370 today.
The average income was $6497 per year ($34,981 in today's dollars).
Gas was $.364 per gallon ($1.96 in today's money).
The average new car was $3,742 ($20,147).(Chart views into the cost
of living changes throughout the Proof Set years)