1982 Proof Set Brochure – Found Item

When going through purchased coin sets, it’s always interesting to find the bits of history associated with the coins.

We found this 1982 Proof Set Brochure in with some proof sets. Like the coins, the brochure provides an interesting view into the US Mint’s historical marketing material. And, like always, it’s interesting to view the US Mint’s marketing without the internet versus their marketing processes today.

Let’s take a look at the front of the folded brochure:

US Mint 1982 Proof Set Brochure front


The front of the US Mint’s 1982 Proof Set Brochure includes red, white and blue colors with an inked sketch of a building. Unfolded slightly, you can get a better view of the US Mint’s design for the brochure.

US Mint 1982 Proof Set Brochure full front view

The red, white and blue colors provide imagery for the nation’s stars and stripes.

US Mint 1982 Proof Set Brochure back

The text on the back of the brochure explains the building:

Featured on the front panel – The San Francisco Assay Office, home of proof coin productions since 1968. Congress designated this facility as an Assay Office in July 1962 with Public Law 87-534. Prior to that time the building, which was built in 1937, had been a Mint; however, because of high operating costs and facility expansion at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints, coinage operations in San Francisco were closed down in March 1955. In the mid-sixties a critical shortage of coins began to develop and the Assay Office was called upon to fabricate one cent and five cent blanks which were shipped to the Denver Mint to be struck. In 1965 the Assay Office was given authority to strike coins for circulation. The San Francisco Assay Office continues the production of one cent coins, with no mint mark, for circulation in addition to the highly specialized production of proof coins. Over 3.5 million proof coin sets were sold last year.

Inside the unfolded brochure for the 1982 Proof Set, the US Mint provided their marketing information:

US Mint 1982 Proof Set Brochure inside

In the first columns, the US Mint included details of the contents of the 1982 Proof Set and the proof coining processes:

The 1982 Proof Coin Set

…Contains a proof half dollar, quarter, nickel, dime and one cent coin produced by the San Francisco Assay Office. These are the only coins to have the ‘S’ mint mark in 1982. This year’s set also contains a proof medal featuring the Treasury Seal and the date 1789 on the obverse and an eagle and the inscription United States Proof Set on the reverse. The medal was specially designed for the 1982 sets which are priced at $11.00 per set.

The produce 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.

Limitations: One order per customer; five orders per address.

Individuals can order a maximum of five sets. Customers wanting to order five sets must do so with their initial order. No more than five orders will be sent to one address. The limitations are imposed to make these sets available to as many customers as possible and may be reduced if orders exceed production capabilities.

Ordering period: Beginning February 1, 1982. Please note that the ordering period is earlier than ususal. The Mint anticipates accepting orders for at least a two month period. However, if orders exceed our production capability an earlier cut-off date will be announced. All orders received after the announced cut-off date will be returned. If your payment is deposited and we cannot honor your order, a refund will be made. Orders cannot be canceled by the customer.

Mailing of sets: The 1982 sets will be produced, packaged and mailed throughout the year with all sets mailed by December 31, 1982. Notification of your order number and expected delivery date will be sent to you if your order is not among the first to be mailed.

They further explained how to submit the orders and the payment types they would accept. Remember, this was in 1982.


(a) A personal check or cashier’s check drawn on a US bank and payable in US currency or
(b) A US or International money order

They also provided strict instructions on how to fill out the check. Take a look at this one:

US Mint 1982 Proof Sets payment for five

In particular, the check must be made out to the Bureau of the Mint and the customer order number had to be in the upper right corner of the check. (Though probably invalid after 30 years, the identifying numbers are hidden just in case.)

Click on 1982 proof set to view the contents of the collectible the US Mint described in their brochure.

This trip down the historical memory lane also makes you wonder how long the original buyer kept their 1982 proof set, did they sell it (them, since they ordered five) or did their heirs sell them. Maybe they gave them to grandchildren or someone else.

With the ups and downs of the economy and the markets, the 1982 proof set today is worth less than half the $11.00 originally paid.

That, of course, is good for those buying the 1982 proof set