“From Raw Ore to Refined Beauty”

Coins of America - Banner Ad 2

This week’s found object was folded and scrunched into a Prestige Set. It is an interesting brochure from the US Mint in 1993 announcing the new Silver Proof and Premier Silver Proof Sets. Their brochure provides a glimpse back in time before their marketing information could be readily seen on the internet.  

Their brochure titled “From Raw Ore To Refined Beauty” compared the process from ore to coins using both pictures and text. Let’s take a look:

US Mint 1993 Silver Proof Set Brochure front

Next, they gave a glimpse into discovering the ore in the early days and in 1993:

US Mint 1993 Silver Proof Set Brochure From Raw Ore

“From Raw Ore

“Nineteenth century prospectors have evolved into 20th century geologists. Today’s geologists use helicopters rather than mules to seek out silver deposits and diamond drill bits to take samples. But finding silver ore is only the first step in a long process. Next comes mining, milling, smelting and minting. Although technology makes this easier, wresting silver from nature’s grip remains a test of human determination.”

Next, they described the work as the process began to move from ore to coins:

US Mint 1993 Silver Proof Set Brochure To Refined Beauty

“To Refined Beauty

“Precious metal ore is usually found in hard rock formations beneath the surface of the earth. Like their predecessors of a hundred years ago, miners today use explosives to break apart the rock encasing this treasure. Today’s motorized vehicles have replaced shovels and mules for the work of collecting and transporting ore to the surface.

“Unrefined ore is transported to mills where it is ground into a fine powder. Further refining separates valuable minerals such as gold and silver from waste materials. The result is a concentrated black powder which is sent to a smelter.

“A smelter completes the final steps in the refinement of the silver. The pure metals are then shipped to manufacturers. There, the metal is turned into flat sheets and stamped into coin blanks.

“The journey from raw ore to refined beauty is long and arduous, but the results make it all worthwhile: the glistening, breathtaking beauty of silver. With the issue of the 1993 Silver Proof Set, the United States Mint once again makes it possible for you to collect or give one of life’s most remarkable treasures.”

After helping people understand the process, the Mint introduced their 1993 silver sets:

US Mint 1993 Silver Proof Set Brochure contents

On the upper left:

“The 1993 Silver Proof Set, which comes in stunning black packaging, is ideal for collectors. The coins in this set offer the same beautiful designs as circulating coins, but the dime, quarter and half dollar are struck in 90 percent silver or coin silver, the standard alloy for America’s silver coinage since 1837. These coins are produced at the San Francisco Mint and bear the “S” mint mark. Each set comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.”

In the middle:

“Celebrating the Evolution of Excellence

“The United States Mint proudly presents the 1993 Silver Proof Set. This is the second consecutive year the Mint has issues silver proof sets. Prior to 1965, U.S. dimes, quarters and half dollars were struck in silver. By an act of Congress in 1965, the silver was eliminated from the dime and quarter, and the half dollar was cut from 90 percent to 40 percent silver. In 1971, the silver was also eliminated from the half dollar. Since then, all circulating dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollar coins have been made of cupro-nickel clad.

“In 1990, Congress authorized the Mint to once again produce silver proof versions of circulating coins for sale to the public. The 1993 Silver Proof Set and Premier Silver Proof Set are issued under this legislation.”

On the upper right:

“The 1993 Premier Silver Proof Set is a perfect gift for any occasion. The gleaming beauty and intrinsic value of silver combine to create a gift that will be cherished for a lifetime. To make this set a truly special gift, we have created a package that conveys the quality and refinement of these precision-crafted silver proof coins. They rest in a rich, black velvet presentation case lined in elegant white satin and enhanced with shining silver colored accents. The case comes with a leather-grained black outer box and a parchment Certificate of Authenticity.”

On the bottom left:

“A Special Pre-Issue Price

“For a limited time, the Mint is pleased to offer both the 1993 Silver Proof Set and the 1993 Premier Silver Proof Set to you at special pre-issue discount prices of $18.00 and $29.00 respectively. To qualify for this pre-issue discount, orders must be postmarked no later than August 31, 1993. After that date prices will be $21.00 for the Silver Proof Set and $37.00 for the Premier Silver Proof Set.”

On the lower right:

“A Gift To Mark Any Occasion

“An authentic silver proof set can mark life’s important occasions and events in a meaningful way. It’s ideal for birthday, anniversaries (especially silver wedding anniversaries), christenings, and year-end holidays. Then again, why not order two and keep one for yourself. They make memorable personal keepsakes.”

The back of the folded brochure provided information about submitting orders for the silver proof sets to the US Mint.

US Mint 1993 Silver Proof Set Brochure back

Since a blank order form was not found with the folded brochure, perhaps the original recipient ordered one or more of the US Mint’s 1993 silver proof sets.

We can speculate while we enjoy this educational trip back to 1993.

Coins of America - Banner Ad 2