Coins - 1996 Mint
Like the mint sets in the previous years, the 1996 Mint set included the normal ten uncirculated coins and the
two mint mark tokens from the Denver and Philadelphia mint locations. But, this set had an additional Roosevelt
dime minted at West Point contained in a separate Mylar holder. The uncirculated coins included
the Kennedy half dollar, Washington quarter, Roosevelt dime, Jefferson nickel and Lincoln penny.
For the 1996 mint set, the US Mint continued the theme of using pictures from the minting process on the outer
envelope. Because of the focus on the Roosevelt dime in this year, the picture shows the dime being minted. In a
rectangle on the front of the envelope, the mint set is identified by "The 1996 United States Mint
Uncirculated Coin Set."
1996 Mint Set Package
The back of the envelope shows another view of the minting process and includes an inset
picture showing the finished dimes falling from the edge of the machine. No text was added to the
The 1996 mint set included the two clear sleeves with the uncirculated coins and mint mark
tokens from the Denver and Philadelphia mints, an informational insert about the uncirculated coins from
Denver and Philadelphia, a small Mylar sleeve with the Roosevelt dime from West Point, another insert
describing the Roosevelt dime and a separate card for ordering more mint sets.
1996 Mint Set Uncirculated Coins
At the top, the red edged sleeve contains the Denver coins and mint mark token. The blue edged sleeve holds the
Philadelphia minted coins and mint mark token. And, at the bottom, the small, clear sleeve holds the Roosevelt dime
minted in West Point.
The "D" mint mark token has "Uncirculated" and "Denver" around its
rim with the large "D" in the middle on the obverse.
Likewise, the "P" mint mark token shows "Uncirculated" and "Philadelphia" around the edge
and the large "P" in the middle.
Each of the uncirculated coins and the mint mark tokens are sealed in the Mylar sleeves in separate
compartments for protection. The sections are not rigid and allow the uncirculated coins to move easily
within their individual cells.
The Mylar of each sleeve is clear - front and back. Turning the sleeves over, the reverse images of
the uncirculated coins can be seen.
Though different on the obverse, both of the mint mark tokens have the same reverse image
which includes the Treasury Department's seal for the US Mint.
1996 Mint Set Insert and Certificate of Authenticity
The front of the informational insert in the 1996 mint set shows another view of the minting equipment
similar to that on the envelope. This picture, however, includes an inset picture of a hand holding several dollars
worth of new Roosevelt dimes.
Inside the folded insert, the US Mint's message is almost word-for-word the same as the previous year's.
But, this insert shows the iconic heraldic eagle at the top.
Boldly and clearly, the back of the informational insert is titled "United States Mint Uncirculated
Coin Set" with a smaller subtitle of "Specifications." The chart below shows the coin specifications
including the artists, the size, the metals and the weight of the five uncirculated coins in the mint set
shown in a black grid on a white background.
To make the reorder process easy, a separate card inside the 1996 mint set included the
information to order additional sets. (Note: this card is no longer valid, but it helps cushion the coins in
The opposite side of the card advises how to complete the order form and where to
send the form and the payment for the mint sets.
An additional insert in the 1996 mint set celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Roosevelt dime.
The background shows a portion of the American flag in red, white and blue with obverse and reverse
images of the dime in the foreground. Also in the foreground is an oval picture of President
Inside the Roosevelt dime insert, the US Mint provided historical information about President
Roosevelt and about the coin's artist.
The back of the dime insert provides a Certificate of Authenticity and the coin specifications for
this uncirculated, W mint mark Roosevelt dime.
Larger images of the 1996 mint set inserts show
the contents of both of the inserts and the coin specifications with more detail.
1996 Mint Set Coins and Metals
The coins of the 1996 Mint Set contained the following metals:
Penny: copper-plated zinc, 2.5% copper; 97.5% zinc
Nickel: 25% nickel; 75% copper
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 mint
set values compare among the sets across the years.
1996 Mint Set Year - News about Coins and the US Mint
(note: the below links to newspapers open in a new window)
Individual Vendors may specify terms of payment
The Daily Courier - Jan 29, 1996
In response to a reader's question, advice columnist Ann Landers discussed legal tender as it pertains to small
denomination coins. In the early days of the US Mint, pennies were not legal tender and merchants could refuse to
accept them. Laws introduced in the 1870s made pennies and nickels legal tender for payment up to $0.25 with dimes,
quarters and half dollars legal up to $10. Fast forward to the 1980s when the laws changed to make all of the coins
legal tender for any debt limit. On the other hand, the laws do not force people, businesses or government
agencies to accept any coins for payment. For example, the IRS can refuse payments made in pennies and the
corner food mart can refuse bills over $20.
Fifty new quarter designs proposed to honor states
Observer-Reporter - Jul 12, 1996
Representative Castle of Delaware proposed a new bill in the House of Representatives to change the quarter design
replacing Washington's face and all would have the same reverse - either the eagle or some other design. Five coins
per year would be released in the order in which the states joined the Union. Each state would contribute ideas for
their design to represent their history and significance. The Treasury Department is considering the bill's impact
to their coin production.
Cents or sensibility? Is penny doomed?
Gadsden Times - Jul 17, 1996
Once again, the House Banking Committee met to discuss the fate of the penny. Some believe the penny costs more
than a penny to produce and distribute, but calculations by the GAO showed the penny currently costs $0.008 for the
mint to strike.
Franklin bust hardly in mint condition
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Aug 29, 1996
In 1971, a bust of Benjamin Franklin made of 80,000 pennies was unveiled adjacent to Engine 8 in Philadelphia. The
sculpture recognized and honored the city firefighters of which Engine 8 is a direct descendent of Union Fire
Company, the first fire fighting company started by Benjamin Franklin. The statue has begun to sag which some in
the neighborhood say is due to vandals removing coins from the bust. The sculpture will be moved and studied
to determine the next steps.
US Mint's stocking stuffers include ornament, watches
Point Pleasant Register - Nov 27, 1996
Numismatists everywhere must have cringed when the US Mint began marketing coins as Christmas ornaments (John F.
Kennedy half dollar), Apollo XI man's watch (Susan B. Anthony dollar reverse), woman's Mercury Dime wrist watch,
and a woman's gold American Eagle brooch.
The 1996 Mint Set Year included news of the penny and the announcement of the new state