Mint Sets

At the May 23rd show, a gentleman brought a full run of mint sets from 1947  through 2009. In our notes recapping the show, the question was raised about how many total coins would be in all of those sets.

Well, we have a number!  Drum roll please….

The mint sets from 1947 through 2009 included 931 coins. That total includes the Special Mint Sets for 1965, 1966 and 1967 along with the three coin silver set in 1976.

The coins follow an interesting face value distribution as follows:

Face $0.01 $0.05 $0.10 $0.25 $0.50 $1.00 Total
Quantity 168 157 156 242 143 65 931
% Quantity 18% 17% 17% 26% 15% 7%  
Total Face $1.68 $7.85 $15.60 $60.50 $71.50 $65.00 $222.13
% Face Value 0.8% 3.5% 7.0% 27.2% 32.2% 29.3%  


Given that three years, 1950, 1982 and 1983, did not have Mint Sets produced and adding the three piece 1976 silver set, there are 61 sets in the run from 1947 through 2009 with the 931 coins equaling $222.13 in total face value.

Across the sets, the average number of coins in the 61 sets is just over 15 coins. The fewest number of coins was the three piece silver set in 1976. The most coins were produced in the 2009 set that included the six different Washington DC and territory quarters, the four different pennies and the five different dollars along with the other coins for a total of 36 coins, 18 for each of the P and D mintmarks.

Seventeen years of mint sets included coins with P, D and S mintmarks. Some of those years included all coins from all three mints, and in other years the coins were a mixture from the three mints.

For example, the sets in 1968 through 1970 had three pennies, one from each mint, two nickels (D and S), two dimes (P & D), two quarters (P & D) and one half dollar (D). 

Another set, 1981, included P and D minted coins for all the different denominations plus a clad dollar from the San Francisco mint. 

Since 1984, the coins equal a full set just from each of the Philadelphia and Denver mints. But, of course, there’s an exception, the 1996 set included an additional dime from the West Point, NY mint.

For the face value of $222.13, the US Mint’s purchase price over the years for one of each of these sets totaled $482.55. That does not include any insurance or shipping and handling charges.

Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator, the total of the inflated purchase prices for each of the sets equals $1408.67.

But, what are they worth? Looking at recent asking price values, those 61 sets would be over $6000 to purchase today.

Of course some of the earlier sets are the most valuable with 1947 through 1958 being the bulk of the value. Those sets range in price from roughly $125 for the 1958 set  to over $1200 for one of the 1947 sets.

On the other end of the scale, the 1971 and 1972 sets are under $3.00 each and just slightly over their face value.

Even with some of the sets at seemingly low values, the full run’s market replacement value is over 1200% (no decimal point) of the Mint’s purchase price and over 400% (no decimal point) of the inflated purchase cost.

Could other investments be as lucrative? Sure, maybe some would even be more lucrative, but what about the fun of collecting? That’s more than half of the excitement of numismatics!