Coins - 1996 Proof
The 1996 proof set included a green textured outer package that held a presentation case with five proof coins
and a folded card with the certificate of authenticity and coin specifications. The 1996 proof set with coins of
$0.91 in face value initially cost $12.50 from the US Mint. The set's proof coins were the Lincoln cent, Jefferson
five cent, Roosevelt ten cent, Washington quarter dollar and Kennedy half dollar.
1996 Proof Set Package
The 1996 proof set copied the design of the previous year. Textured green card stock formed the outer box.
Silver-colored script along the top flap identified the contents as "United States Mint Proof Set • 1996." To hold
the single protective lens, the size of the proof set box was roughly 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches by 3/8 inch.
Turning the box over, a silver colored heraldic eagle decorates the center of the textured green box of the 1996
proof set. The eagle, from the design of the Great Seal of the United States, carries an olive branch and arrows in
its talons and a banner in its beak with "E PLURIBUS UNUM" written on it. The circle above the eagle's head shows a
six-pointed star made of thirteen stars and the shield across its breast holds thirteen bars.
The upper box flap with the silver script opens from the edge to reveal the proof set in the clear presentation
case. The case with the five proof coins slides out of the green outer box to view both the obverse and reverse of
1996 Proof Set Contents and Proof Coins
Simply, the 1996 proof set has the outer green textured box that holds the protective lens with the five proof
coins and a heavy card folded in half with green print detailing the Proof Set Certificate of Authenticity and
Based on the sales of the mid-90s proof sets including the 1996 proof set, people were losing
interest in the annual proof set. Or, it could be that the variety of the coins and packages offered by the Mint in
the 90s stole sales from the regular issue proof set. The 1996 proof set year did not introduce any known
varieties, but the low sales figures may make this a more desirable set.
Continuing in 1996, the US Mint offered their Prestige Proof
Set program. The 1996 Prestige Proof Set contained the five
regular proof coins along with a commemorative silver dollar showing a four-man rowing team and a cupro-nickel clad
half dollar with two women competing for a soccer ball in recognition of the athletes and the Atlanta Centennial
The five proof coins with their frosted images are held in individual circles cut in the green card
stock sandwiched between the clear plastic covers. At the bottom of the obverse of the 1996 proof set, the clear
plastic script states, "United States Mint Proof Set," and in the upper left corner, small, clear block letters
state "PACKAGED BY U.S. MINT."
Turning the proof set over, the reverse designs on each of the coins are clearly seen. Just above the Kennedy
half dollar is another heraldic eagle, like the one on the green box, but this one is in clear, raised plastic. The
eagle and the coins contrast with the green card stock background.
Click on the 1996 Proof Set
Certificate of Authenticity and Coin Specifications to view the details about the individual coins in the
annual proof set.
1996 Proof Set Year Population and Cost of Living
The world population in 1996 was 5,780,525,477. This represents 84.4% of the world's population in 2010.
$100 in 1996 equals $138.98 in 2010 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator.
New houses in 1996 cost an average of $166,400 which would be $231,263 in 2010 dollars.
The average income was $25,914 per year which equals $36,015 in 2010 dollars.
Gas was $1.231 per gallon which would be $1.711 in 2010 money.
The average new car was $18,777 equivalent to $26,096 in 2010.
(Chart views into the cost of living changes throughout the Proof Set