Not too long ago, back in 1996, the US Mint celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Roosevelt dime.
The rule, which can be overridden by Congress since it’s their rule, is a coin’s design should be in place for 25 years before the US Mint can change it. At 50 years, the time frame for the Roosevelt dime was twice as long as required. Fifteen additional years later, the Roosevelt dime is still in production.
To help celebrate the anniversary, the US Mint produced 1996 mint sets with an extra dime. The 1996 mint sets included the regular complement of five uncirculated coins from the Denver mint and five uncirculated coins from the Philadelphia mint. Each of the five coins were included in their own Mylar sleeve with a sixth compartment holding a mint mark token. But, the mint set had another small Mylar sleeve with a Roosevelt dime minted at the West Point, New York mint.
Let’s take a look:
You can see the “W” mint mark just above the “6” in the year and to the right of the base of President Roosevelt’s neck.
So, what’s so special – it’s just a dime.
Well, it’s the only Roosevelt dime to be minted in West Point, and the “W” mint mark dime was only produced for the 1996 mint set.
As a result, the dime by itself is worth almost as much as the full set is worth.
Because of its value, some people — individuals and dealers — take the extra dime out of the 1996 mint set to be certified and slabbed by one of the grading services. Or, the dime could be placed in a protective dime holder to be sold separately.
Separating the dime is certainly understandable as either a unique collectible or as a way to increase the dime’s value.
The problem that action causes, however, is some less-than-ethical people try to sell the remaining pieces of the mint set as being a full set.
If you don’t know any better, the remaining pieces certainly look like a full mint set with the outer envelope holding the two Mylar sleeves and the informational insert with the US Mint message and the coin specifications.
Some people may only want the ten uncirculated coins from Denver and Philadelphia, but with just ten coins, the 1996 uncirculated set is not the full US Mint 1996 uncirculated coin set.
For your education, pictures of the 1996 mint set with the coins and the other contents can be found on our main web site.
If you are in the market for a true US Mint 1996 mint set, make sure you verify that all of the uncirculated coins are included in the set(s) you want to buy.