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Coins - 1973 Mint Set

With the addition of the Eisenhower dollar, the 1973 mint set contained thirteen coins, six from Philadelphia, six from Denver and one from San Francisco. The sets contained no silver.   

The mint set included two dollar, half dollar, quarter and dime cupronickel clad coins, two nickels and three one cent coins.  Though the Eisenhower dollars in cupronickel were added to the mint set in 1973, the US Mint still packaged and sold the 40% silver Eisenhower dollar uncirculated coins in separate one-coin sets.

The 1973 mint set was still packaged in a white envelope, but the US Mint changed the identifying writing. The upper left corner identifies "US MINT" and "1973 Uncirculated Coin" as the only writing on the envelope. In addition, the paper of this envelope in comparison to the earlier years is more sturdy.

1973 Mint Set Package

1973 Mint Set 

Inside the envelope, two pieces of cardstock sandwich the two pliofilm sleeves between them and help protect the thirteen coins in the mint set.

1973 Mint Set open 

1973 Mint Set Uncirculated Coins

The red-edged pliofilm sleeve is divided into six separate compartments for the six coins minted in Denver. The blue-edged pliofilm has seven compartments for the six coins from the Philadelphia mint and the one cent coin from the San Francisco mint.

1973 Mint Set obverse

Each compartment in the pliofilm sleeves is sealed from its neighbor, but the coins move freely within the compartment.

On the opposite side, the six different coins' reverse images can be seen clearly.

1973 Mint Set reverse

With the increase in the number of coins, the mint token as seen in previous years was not included in the 1973 mint set.

1973 Mint Set Coins and Metals

The coins of the 1973 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
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.

1973 Mint Set Year - News about Coins and the US Mint

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

US Mint Brings Back Popular Penny Bags
The Windsor Star - Jan 15, 1973
The Director of the Mint announced the mint will begin selling the popular penny bags again this year. They had discontinued the penny bag after too much success with the 1971 bags. With changes to their processes, they will provide bags containing 15 uncirculated coins, five from each mint. They will sell for 25 cents each and can be ordered in multiples of five bags up to 25 bags total per order.

New Coins Planned 
The Morning Record - Mar 6, 1973
The US Mint wants to place a revolutionary design on the reverse of the dollar and half dollar coins to honor 200th anniversary of American independence in 1976. The portraits of Eisenhower and Kennedy would remain on the obverse of the coins. A bill to authorize the change is now in Congress for approval.

Dime Buys 3 Big P's 
The Evening Independent - Mar 22, 1973
Per Erma Bombeck, the US Mint only makes 25 dimes per year. But, more importantly, the dime can buy a phone call, a parking space or a restroom stall. She claims the dime "may not buy happiness, but there are times when you can buy your way out of misery with it."

Where is the US 1942 zinc cent? 
The Windsor Star - May 7, 1973
Back in 1942, the US Mint in Philadelphia struck 25 solid zinc cents when they experimented with alternatives for copper which was in short supply. After striking, they counted the results to fine only 24 coins. They searched, even dismantled equipment, and never found the 25th coin. Did the solid zinc penny find its way into a bag for circulation?

A Medal for Mamie
The Modesto Bee - Oct 3, 1973
The US Mint produced their first silver commemorative bicentennial medal. The Director of the Mint and Lt. Gen. Daniel James, Jr. presented the first one to Mamie Eisenhower at her home in Gettysburg.

Senate Approves Funds for HEW 
The Milwaukee Journal - Oct 5, 1973
Hidden in this article is the voice vote approval of the bill to change coins' reverse images for the nation's bicentennial celebration. The dollar, half dollar and quarter coins minted between July 4, 1975 and Jan 1, 1977 will show "1776-1976" on the obverse with special symbols for the American revolution on their reverse.

US unveils bicentennial numismatic plan 
The Windsor Star - Nov 6, 1973
The bill for changing the reverse of the half dollar and dollar coins for the bicentennial rests with Congress. The Treasury Departments' US Mint proposes the obverse of the coins to contain "1776-1976" with the first coins released on July 4, 1975. They suggest the National Sculpture Society to conduct a competition among sculpture artists for the reverse images with the final designs being chosen by members of the Treasury Department, the Senate and the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission.

Shortage of pennies acute, says director of US Mint
Eugene Register-Guard - Nov 14, 1973
"I make more money than anyone else in the world, but I can't keep it." The Mint's Director explained that the three mints made 8,283,711,347 coins in the last year with 5,978,526,504 of those being pennies. But, a shortage of pennies still exists.

Mint eyes aluminum for making pennies
The Fort Scott Tribune - Dec 10, 1973
With the increase in copper prices, the director of the US Mint warns the penny will soon cost more than a penny to make. The US Mint seeks approval from Congress to make them from aluminum. The mint director also wants to make a two and a half cent piece, but they can't figure out whose portrait should be on it.

The 1973 Mint Set Year included news of a penny shortage and a proposed metal change to aluminum. 

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