Coins  1981 Proof
Set
The 1981 Proof Set provides an example of the packaging introduced in 1980 and only produced for the 1980, 1981
and 1982 annual sets.
The 1981 proof set was the last proof set to include the Susan B. Anthony dollar. The US Mint struck the Susan
B. Anthony dollar again in 1999 but did not include it in the 1999 proof sets.
The 1981 proof set contained six coins totaling $1.91 and was sold for $11.00 to collectors and dealers.
The 1981 proof set contained two different mint mark varieties. The Type I variety includes a rounded top of the
"S." The Type II variety has a flat top of the "S" and is considered more desirable. Interestingly, the coins in a
set can have a mixture of the mint varieties. The most valuable sets have all of the flat top "S" mint marks.
1981 Proof Set Package
The outer black box dimensions are roughly 3 1/2 inches by 4 7/8 inches by 1/2 inches. Also, the box is open at
the top unlike earlier and later proof set boxes that enclose the lens holding the coins.
In silver script, the black outer box says, "United States Proof Set" with "1981" centered underneath.
Inside, the proof set includes six coins spaced individually in round holes in a red insert between two clear
pieces of plastic. The plastic sealed to become a lens for the coins and was placed inside a separate black plastic
form.
1981 Proof Set Contents and Proof Coins
The black plastic form includes the inscription "UNITED STATES PROOF SET" in raised silver letters. The form can
be used as a stand to display the coins in their lens.
The lens case placed flat in the black plastic shows the obverse of the coins.
Out of the black plastic and turned over, this view shows the reverse of the coins:
1981 Proof Set Coin Specifications
The specifications for the coins in the 1981 annual Proof Set:
Denomination 
Cent 
Five Cent 
Dime 
Quarter 
Half Dollar 
Dollar 
Obverse

Lincoln

Jefferson

Roosevelt

Washington

Kennedy

Susan B. Anthony

Designed by

V.D. Brenner

Felix Schlag

John R. Sinnock

John
Flanagan

Gilroy
Roberts

Frank
Gasparro

Reverse

Lincoln Memorial

Montecello

Torch, Olive Branch, Oak Branch

Heraldic Eagle

Heraldic Eagle

Apollo 11 Insignia, Eagle on Moon

Designed by

Frank
Gasparro 
Felix Schlag 
John R. Sinnock 
John Flanagan

Frank Gasparro

Frank Gasparro

Composition

95% Copper, 5% Zinc

25% Nickel, 75% Copper

CuproNickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu

CuproNickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu

CuproNickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu

CuproNickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu 
Standard
Weight

3.110 g

5.000 g

2.268 g

5.670 g

11.340 g

8.100 g

Standard
Diameter

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

1.04 in
26.5 mm

Edge

Plain

Plain

Reeded

Reeded

Reeded

Reeded

In later sets, the US Mint advises, "To preserve the beauty of your Proof Set, it should be stored in a cool, dry
place."
1981 Proof Set Year Population and Cost of Living
The world population in 1981 was 4,529,000,000. This represents 66.1% of the world's population in 2010.
$100 in 1981 equals $239.89 in 2010 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator
New houses in 1981 cost an average of $83,000 which would be $199,109 in 2010 dollars.
The average income was $13,773 per year which equals $33,040 in 2010 dollars.
Gas was $1.311 per gallon which would be $3.145 in 2010 money.
The average new car was $8,910 equivalent to $21,374 in 2010.
(Chart views into the cost of living changes throughout the Proof Set
years)
