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Coins - 1998 Mint Set

The 1998 mint set was the last to contain only ten uncirculated coins, five from Denver and five from Philadelphia, along with the two mint mark tokens, one from each mint. Two Mylar sleeves held each mint's five uncirculated coins and mint mark token. the coins included the Kennedy half dollar, Washington quarter, Roosevelt dime, Jefferson nickel and Lincoln penny.

On a pale purple background, the front of the 1998 mint set envelope included the obverse images of the five coins on the left and a single quarter obverse in the lower right. Bold letters announced, "From the United States Mint... The 1998 Uncirculated Coin Set" in the upper middle of the envelope.  Across the bottom, the US Mint alert collectors to the upcoming state quarter coins with the teaser, "This collector's set includes two 1998 Washington Quarter Dollars. This is the last time the heraldic eagle reverse will appear until at least 2009."

1998 Mint Set Package  

1998 Mint Set uncirculated coins

For the 1998 mint set, the coin specifications were listed on the back of the envelope unlike the plain envelope back of earlier years.

1998 Mint Set back of envelope 

The 1998 mint set consisted of the two Mylar sleeves holding the uncirculated coins and mint mark tokens, an informational insert with the US Mint's message and a separate card to make it easy to order more of the 1998 mint sets.

1998 Mint Set opened showing coins and contents 

1998 Mint Set Uncirculated Coins

Remaining consistent with their colors, the red-edged Mylar sleeve on the left contains the uncirculated coins minted in Denver with the "D" mint mark token. The blue edged sleeve on the right with its "P" mint mark token holds the five uncirculated coins from the Philadelphia mint.

1998 Mint Set obverse images of coins

One of the six compartments in the red-edged sleeve holds the Denver mint mark token with "Uncirculated" and "Denver" around its edge with a large "D" in the middle. 

1998 Mint Set Denver mint mark token 

The blue-edged sleeve holds a similar mint mark token for Philadelphia with "Uncirculated" and "Philadelphia" circling its edge and a large "P" in the middle.

1998 Mint Set Philadelphia mint mark token 

The six sealed separately spaces in each Mylar sleeve protect the five uncirculated coins and the mint mark token from each other and from fingerprints. Each space is larger than the coin it holds which allows each coin to rotate freely within its cell in the Mylar sleeve.

From the back, the reverse images of the uncirculated coins can be seen through the clear Mylar protection.

1998 Mint Set reverse images of coins 

Though unique on their obverse, the mint mark tokens have the same reverse image of the US Mint's Treasury Department seal.

1998 Mint Set mint mark token reverse 

1998 Mint Set Insert and Certificate of Authenticity

The informational insert in the 1998 mint set is the same size as those in earlier sets, but the format is vertical rather than horizontal. The front of the insert celebrates the last issue of the Washington Quarter Dollar coin with the heraldic eagle reverse.  

1998 Mint Set front of insert

Inside the 1998 mint set's insert, the US Mint provided information for collectors about the coins and about the US Mint operations.

1998 Mint Set inside of insert 

On the back of the 1998 mint set insert, bullet points provided additional facts about coins and coin collecting.

1998 Mint Set back of insert

In 1998, the coin specifications were printed on the back of the mint set envelope allowing more information to be included on the insert. Below "Specifications," the chart contains the coins' characteristics which include the artists, the size, the metals and the weight of the five uncirculated coins in the mint set. 

1998 Mint Set coin specifications 

The US Mint continued their practice of adding a separate card inside the 1998 mint set for ordering additional sets easily. (Note: this card is no longer valid, but it helps cushion the coins in the envelope.)

1998 Mint Set reorder form 

The opposite side of the reorder form suggests the collector order more mint sets for friends and family and includes the instructions for completing and sending the order to obtain more of the 1998 mint sets. 

1998 Mint Set reorder form instructions 

Larger images of the 1998 mint set insert show the contents of the insert and the coin specifications with more detail.

1998 Mint Set Coins and Metals

The coins of the 1998 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.

1998 Mint Set Year - News about Coins and the US Mint

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

Mint in Phila. cited for illegal emissions 
Reading Eagle - Jan 27, 1998
After inspectors reviewed the Philadelphia mint, the federal Environmental Protection Agency cited the US Mint for violating Clean Air Act regulations. Several violations were identified. One stated the Mint did not properly test and monitor discharges of chromium which is used in the coining process to add longevity to the coins. The EPA set the fines at $129,400.

Coin honors black patriots 
The Albany Herald - Feb 26, 1998
The 5000 black Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War will be honored with a commemorative silver dollar with the portrait of Crispus Attucks on the obverse. Attucks was the first person killed by the British soldiers during the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770. Surcharges from the sale of the coins will be applied to a Black Patriots Memorial in Washington, DC if an equivalent amount of private funds are obtained.

Woman's face will grace new US dollar coin - but whose will it be? 
Kingman Daily Miner - Jun 7, 1998
Legislation was signed by President Clinton in December to mint a new dollar coin. The coin must be similar in size to the Anthony dollar, be gold-colored, have a distinctive edge and depict an American eagle on the reverse. Some suggest Eleanor Roosevelt or the Statue of Liberty should be on the obverse. But, the Director of the Mint says that his mail suggests Sacajawea repopularized by the Ken Burns PBS documentary.

Sacajawea on new coin? No way says lawmaker 
The Rochester Sentinel - Jul 28, 1998
Representative Castle, head of the House Banking subcommittee, submitted legislation to make the design on the new gold-colored dollar coin be the Statue of Liberty. He doesn't object to Sacajawea, instead he thinks the Statue of Liberty is the most universal symbol of the country. He's pushing the legislation forward before the House recesses next month.

US Mint seeking comments on dollar's Sacajawea design 
Lawrence Journal-World - Dec 7, 1998
The US Mint provided pictures of six designs for the front and seven for the back and asked the American public to respond with which they prefer. The Mint plans to present the top three choices for each to the Fine Arts Commission which meets on December 17, 1998. The designs were also placed on the Mint's web site for viewing.

Sacagawea carrying baby is one of three finalists for dollar coin 
The Daily Gazette - Dec 18, 1998
The field of designs for the new gold-dollar has been narrowed to three, all of which are by Santa Fe, New Mexico artist Glenna Goodacre. One is a left facing portrait. The other two are similar with Sacagawea looking back over her right shoulder. The difference is in one she carries her baby on her back. Though some disagree with the description of Sacagawea as a guide, her great-great-granddaughter reminds us that being from a nomadic people, Sacagawea had been over a lot of the area the expedition explored. 

The 1998 Mint Set Year included news of a new dollar coin design controversy, a Black Revolutionary Patriots commemorative coin and US Mint emission violations.

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