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Coins - 1973 Proof Set


The 1973 Proof Set was the first year to include the Eisenhower dollar even though the dollar coin was first introduced in 1971. The proof set contained six coins of $1.91 in face value: the Lincoln cent, Jefferson nickel, Roosevelt dime, Washington quarter, Kennedy half dollar and Eisenhower dollar. The US Mint sold the 1973 proof sets initially for $7.00 each.

The 1973 annual Proof Set was the first year with the black outer box with the inner plastic lens which included an attached display stand. This packaging style was used for the proof set years of 1973 through 1979.

1973 Proof Set Package

Silver script identifies the set as "United States Proof Set • 1973" on the flap of the black box. The box dimensions are roughly 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches by 3/8 inch.

1973 Proof Set 

The back and outer edges of the proof set box did not contain any other identifying letters or marks.

1973 Proof Set back

The black flap slides from under the written section and the lens holding the six coins enters the box from the bottom.

1973 Proof Set contents

1973 Proof Set Contents and Proof Coins

The black plastic cover with the silver heraldic eagle rotates on hinges to form an upright display for the proof coins. People did get frustrated with the display stand. Today, these sets can be found without the addition of the black plastic flip cover.

1973 Proof Set display

This was the first year for the Eisenhower dollar to be included in proof sets. The dollar coins in the proof set were cupro-nickel, however the Mint did produced 40% silver proof and uncirculated Eisenhower dollars that were sold in individual packaging.

Instead of the coins singularly sandwiched between two pieces of plastic, each coin is held in a circular piece of plastic with a slightly raised outer rim. These circles fit into the clear plastic lens holding a red material for a contrast field.

In the upper left corner, raised letters in clear plastic show "PACKAGED BY US MINT." At the bottom, "UNITED STATES PROOF SET" in raised silver letters is printed on the black plastic.

1973 Proof Set obverse 

Looking at the reverse, the Apollo 11 insignia on the reverse of the Eisenhower dollar shows prominently. The eagle lands on the moon with olive branches in its talons, and over its right wing, the distant earth can be seen.

1973 Proof Set reverse 

1973 Proof Set Coin Specifications

The specifications for the coins in the 1973 annual Proof Set:

 Denomination  Cent Five Cent Dime  Quarter  Half Dollar  Dollar








Designed by

  V.D. Brenner

  Felix Schlag

  John R. Sinnock





 Lincoln Memorial


Torch, Olive Branch, Oak Branch

Heraldic Eagle

Heraldic Eagle

Apollo 11 Insignia, Eagle on Moon

Designed by

 Felix Schlag  John R. Sinnock


Frank Gasparro

Frank Gasparro


95% Copper, 5% Zinc

25% Nickel, 75% Copper

Cupro-Nickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu

Cupro-Nickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu

Cupro-Nickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu

Cupro-Nickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu


 3.110 g

5.000 g

2.268 g

5.670 g

11.340 g

22.68 g


 0.750 in 19.05 mm

 0.835 in 21.21 mm

 0.705 in 17.91 mm

0.955 in
24.26 mm

1.205 in
30.61 mm

1.5 in
38.1 mm








In later sets, the US Mint advises, "To preserve the beauty of your Proof Set, it should be stored in a cool, dry place."

1973 Proof Set Year Population and Cost of Living

The world population in 1973 was 3,943,176,752. This represents 57.5% of the world's population in 2010.

$100 in 1973 equals $491.12 in 2010 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator.

New houses in 1973 cost $35,500 which would be $174,348 today.

The average income was $7580 per year ($37,228 in today's dollars).

Gas averaged $.388 per gallon ($1.91 in today's money).

The average new car was $4,052 ($19,900).

(Chart views into the cost of living changes throughout the Proof Set years)

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