It’s interesting to find brochures and other related coin information when looking through purchased collections. In this case, we found a brochure for the 1983 Proof Coin Set.
The red, white and blue front of the brochure showed drawn images of the obverse for the dime, nickel and penny and the reverse for the half dollar and quarter dollar coins.
Unfolded once, the inside of the brochure added a description detailing the 1983 proof coin set process at the US Mint.
The details on the right included:
…Contains a proof half dollar, quarter, dime, nickel and one cent coin produced by the San Francisco Assay Office. The coins have the ‘S’ mint mark.
The production of proof coins is a unique operation with special handling being given to both the dies and the blanks. Proof blanks are burnished with thousands of steel beads and cleaning chemicals to buff out imperfections and polish the surface. The polished blanks are then rinsed, dried and transferred to the press room where a final cleaning and inspection is given them by the coin operator before they are struck. Proof dies are first sandblasted resulting in a frosted appearance and texture to the die’s surface. The portrait is then covered with tape and the background is polished with several grades of diamond polish and buffed. When the tape is removed the frosted design against the polished background gives a beautiful two-toned effect to the die which is transferred to the coins when they are individually struck twice. Proof coins are sealed in a clear plastic package to protect their beauty.
Unfolded again, the brochure provided instructions for ordering the 1983 Proof Coin Set:
The “Order Instructions” included how to complete the order card, sign the card and detach the appropriate magnetic strip. All of these should be enclosed in the envelope provided.
“If You Write To Us About Your Order, Please” gave instructions on what pieces of information the Bureau of the Mint required to identify the specific customer and order.
The “Only Acceptable Payments” for the 1983 proof coins set(s) were personal check, cashier’s check or money order. That’s interesting. The Mint was not prepared to accept credit card information in 1983.
The US Mint described “Order Limitations” for the 1983 proof coin sets as a maximum of five per individual with no more than five individuals ordering from one address (max of 25 per address).
The ‘Ordering Period” for the 1983 proof coins began on May 2, 1983 with an expected timeframe of two months, though the US Mint reserved the right to shorten or lengthen the period based on the number of orders received and their production capabilities.
In the “Mailing of Sets” section, they alerted collectors that the sets would be mailed throughout the remainder of the year with all sets distributed by December 31, 1983.
The last section included seven spaces for the customer to record the seven-digit number from their order as a reference point.
Over on the lower left, the issue price from the US Mint was $11.00 for the 1983 Proof Coin Set which included $0.91 in face value.
The back of the brochure was simply red, white and blue with a small Treasury Bureau of the Mint seal centered along the edge.
With the current emphasis on silver and gold, this set, containing neither of those metals, can be found at prices much less than the initial issue price. In some cases, they can be found at less than half the initial price.
Of course, remember, prices frequently change based on supply and demand. Any price comments are only good for a short time.
Today, the US Mint still produces brochures for many of their products, however their broad web presence reduces the number of brochures mailed and the number of orders received via the mail.
That makes it so interesting to view how they marketed their products pre-internet.