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Coins - 1997 Mint Set

The 1997 mint set contained ten uncirculated coins, five from Denver and five from Philadelphia, and two mint mark tokens, one for each mint, with the coins held in two protective Mylar sleeves. The five uncirculated coins included the Kennedy half dollar, Washington quarter, Roosevelt dime, Jefferson nickel and Lincoln penny.

The 1997 mint set arrived in a blue and white envelope. The blue rectangle on the front contained a large "1997" in a pale blue decorative script. Over the year, the mint set was identified with "The United States Mint 1997 Mint Uncirculated Coin Set" in white letters. An abstract pattern of blue, gray and white decorated the background.

1997 Mint Set Package  

1997 Mint Set uncirculated coins

The back of the envelope contained more of the abstract design which looks like different liquids - maybe oil and water - that do not mix. No other text was placed on the back of the envelope.

1997 Mint Set back of envelope 

Inside the 1997 mint set, two Mylar sleeves held the uncirculated coins and mint mark tokens. An informational insert provided a message from the US Mint about the mint set and a separate card made it easy to order more of the 1997 mint sets.

1997 Mint Set opened showing coins and contents 

1997 Mint Set Uncirculated Coins

The Mylar sleeve holding the uncirculated coins and the mint mark token from the Denver mint has the red edges on the left. The blue edged sleeve on the right holds the uncirculated coins and mint mark token from the Philadelphia mint.

1997 Mint Set obverse images of coins

On its obverse, the Denver mint mark token shows "Uncirculated" and "Denver" around the rim with a large "D" in the middle. 

1997 Mint Set Denver mint mark token 

For the Philadelphia mint mark token, "Uncirculated" and "Philadelphia" circles the edge and contains a large "P" in the middle.

1997 Mint Set Philadelphia mint mark token 

Six separate cells in each Mylar sleeve keep the five uncirculated coins and the mint mark token protected from each other and from fingerprints. Though sealed, each cell is larger than the coin it holds allowing freedom of movement.

Turning the clear Mylar sleeves over, the reverse images of the uncirculated coins can be seen through the back.

1997 Mint Set reverse images of coins 

The mint mark tokens contain the same reverse image of the Treasury Department's seal for the US Mint.

1997 Mint Set mint mark token reverse 

1997 Mint Set Insert and Certificate of Authenticity

The informational insert in the 1997 mint set continues the abstract design across the top three-fourths of the front. Along the bottom, United States Mint identification is centered in a white area and includes another US Mint seal.  

1997 Mint Set front of insert 

Inside of the 1997 mint set's informational insert, a pale blue-gray color provides a background for another US Mint seal and the message about the uncirculated coins.

1997 Mint Set inside of insert

The back of the informational insert is titled "United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set" with a smaller subtitle of "Specifications." The chart below contains the coin  specifications which include the artists, the size, the metals and the weight of the five uncirculated coins in the mint set. 

1997 Mint Set coin specifications 

The US Mint added a separate card inside the 1997 mint set with the information to order additional sets easily. (Note: this card is no longer valid, but it helps cushion the coins in the envelope.)

1997 Mint Set reorder form 

The opposite side of the reorder form includes the instructions for completing and sending the card along with payment to obtain more of the 1997 mint sets. 

1997 Mint Set reorder form instructions 

Larger images of the 1997 mint set insert show the contents of the insert and the coin specifications with more detail.

1997 Mint Set Coins and Metals

The coins of the 1997 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.

1997 Mint Set Year - News about Coins and the US Mint

(note: the below links to newspapers open in a new window)

US production of coins declining 
The Day - Mar 6, 1997
The Director of the US Mint told a House subcommittee that demand for coins goes down before the peak of an economic cycle. Currently, the US Mint sees reduced demand, and their coin production is falling. The Director quickly commented that the correlation was an observation and not statistically strong enough to drive investment decisions.

Robinson on 'real high' despite whirlwind schedule 
The Day - May 9, 1997
Fifty years ago, Jackie Robinson became the first black player on a major league team. He died in 1972, but his widow has been making the rounds of the various celebrations recognizing her late husband's contributions. The US Mint produced commemorative coins with his likeness on a silver dollar and a five dollar gold coin.

New quarter designs cleared 
Today's News-Herald - Sep 10, 1997
Legislation cleared the House Banking subcommittee for the US Mint to begin producing state quarters in 1999. Washington's portrait will remain and the heraldic eagle will be replaced with designs commemorating each state. After media speculation last year on the potential designs portraying current sports icons, the legislation includes the stipulation that "no portrait of a living person shall be included in any design."

US Mint produces nation's first-ever platinum coins
Sun Journal - Sep 23, 1997
This year the US Mint begins selling the platinum bullion coins. The one-ounce and tenth-ounce coins will be available first, then the half-ounce and quarter-ounce will be offered later. The obverse will show the Statue of Liberty with a bald eagle on the reverse of each platinum coin. The face value of the four coins will be $100, $50, $25 and $10 by decreasing weight. The $100 one-ounce coin is the largest denomination coin ever produced by the US Mint.

Senate approves changes in coins 
The Tuscaloosa News - Nov 11, 1997
The Senate approved legislation which changes the dollar coin to a golden-dollar and the reverse images on the quarter dollar coins to designs commemorating the 50 states. The head of the House Banking monetary subcommittee claimed, "This will be the largest change in coinage we've seen in a long time." The final designs will be chosen by the Treasury Department but the state designs cannot be "frivolous," cannot show a portrait resulting in a two-headed coin and cannot recognize a living person. 

The 1997 Mint Set Year included news of a new golden dollar coin, the Jackie Robinson commemorative coins and the first-ever platinum coins from the US Mint.

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