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Coins - 1996 Mint Set

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  

1996 Mint Set package of coins

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 back.

1996 Mint Set back of envelope 

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 opened showing coins and contents 

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.

1996 Mint Set obverse images of coins 

The "D" mint mark token has "Uncirculated" and "Denver" around its rim with the large "D" in the middle on the obverse. 

1996 Mint Set Denver Mint Token

Likewise, the "P" mint mark token shows "Uncirculated" and "Philadelphia" around the edge and the large "P" in the middle.

1996 Mint Set Philadelphia mint token

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.

1996 Mint Set reverse images of coins 

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 mint token reverse 

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.   

1996 Mint Set front of insert

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.

1996 Mint Set inside of insert 

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. 

1996 Mint Set coin specifications 

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 envelope.)

1996 Mint Set reorder form 

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. 

1996 Mint Set reorder form instructions

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 Roosevelt. 

1996 Mint Set w Roosevelt dime insert front

Inside the Roosevelt dime insert, the US Mint provided historical information about President Roosevelt and about the coin's artist. 

1996 Mint Set w Roosevelt dime inside of insert

The back of the dime insert provides a Certificate of Authenticity and the coin specifications for this uncirculated, W mint mark Roosevelt dime. 

1996 Mint Set w Roosevelt dime back of insert

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 quarters program.

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