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Coins - 1960 Proof Set


The 1960 Proof Set provides an example of the packaging the United States Mint used beginning in 1955 through 1964. However, the small square box with the coins individually wrapped was also used for part of the 1955 proof sets. Thus, the envelope style for 1955 is called a "flat pack."

In 1960, the United States Mint offered the proof set to the general public in quantities of two, five, ten, 25, 50, 100 and multiples of 100.

The 1960 proof set contained several different varieties. The most notable is the small date variety, but there are several doubled and tripled die varieties as well.

1960 Proof Set Package

This proof set package includes a brown envelope 3.5 inches wide by 6 inches long. The upper left area, normally for the return address, shows:


The lower left corner of the front of the envelope says: 1960 P.C. (The red, white and blue ribbon shows contrast in the pictures but was not part of the set.)

1960 Proof Set

The 1960 Proof Set package included five coins encased between two sheets of clear pliofilm with each coin sealed in its own compartment. In addition, a sixth compartment included an octagonal seal of foil on paper. The blue design on the foil background shows US MINT and three stars inside a shield with PHILADELPHIA underneath.

The 1960 Proof Set's Half Dollar, Quarter Dollar and Dime consisted of 90% silver and 10% copper. The five cent coin (nickel) was made of 75% copper and 25% nickel, and the cent was 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc.

1960 Proof Set Contents and Proof Coins

Two pieces of cardboard formed a sandwich around the flat coin set.

1960 Proof Set package

The obverse of the coins:

1960 Proof Set obverse

The reverse:

1960 Proof Set reverse

Half Dollar:

The 1960 half dollar continued with the Franklin image on the obverse. Franklin's image was first introduced in 1946 to remind people "that thrifty financial management is as important to individuals and to society today as it was in Franklin’s time." Franklin's portrait facing right was developed from a composite of several portraits. The words on the obverse include "LIBERTY" across the top and "IN GOD WE TRUST" under the portrait with the date to the right of Franklin's neck. The coin's reverse shows the historic Liberty Bell hanging from its wooden beam with its representative crack. The bell's image was adapted from a similar image used on a commemorative half dollar in 1926 for the Sesquicentennial of American Independence. "UNITED STATES oF AMERICA" circles the top half of the reverse with the lettering "E Pluribus Unum" to the left of the bell and an American eagle with wings outspread to the right. Below the bell, "HALF DOLLAR" is inscribed. (Instead of all capitals, a small "o" is used in "oF," however it is placed at the top of the "F.")
Obverse Designer: John Sinnock
Reverse Designer: John Sinnock

For fun, take a look at the initial Franklin Half Dollar Press Release

Quarter Dollar:

In 1960, the obverse design included the portrait of George Washington and the words: "LIBERTY," "IN GOD WE TRUST" and the date. The US Mint introduced the quarter dollar with the portrait of our first president in 1932 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth. On the reverse, an eagle stands with wings outspread clutching a bunch of arrows in its talons with two olive sprays crossed beneath his tail feathers. The words on the reverse include: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "QUARTER DOLLAR."
Obverse Designer: John Flanagan
Reverse Designer: John Flanagan


The 1960 dime's obverse shows an image of President Franklin Roosevelt. After his death in 1945 and many requests to honor the late president, the US Mint released the Roosevelt dime on the late president's birth date in 1946. The words on the obverse include "LIBERTY," "IN GOD WE TRUST" and the year. The coin's reverse shows an olive branch, a torch and an oak branch with the words "E PLURIBUS UNUM" across them. The words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" flow around the top of the reverse with "ONE DIME" on the bottom.
Obverse Designer: John Sinnock
Reverse Designer: John Sinnock

Five Cents (Nickel):

The US Mint produced the first Jefferson nickels in 1938. The portrait of Jefferson on the coin's obverse copied the portrait painted by Rembrandt Peale in 1800. Jefferson faces left in the portrait with the profile showing his prominent forehead and colonial hair. The words on the face of the coin say "IN GOD WE TRUST," "LIBERTY" and the year. The 1960 nickel's reverse shows Jefferson's historic home, Monticello, in Charlottesville, Virginia. "E PLURIBUS UNUM" fits above Monticello, and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "MONTICELLO" and "FIVE CENTS" show below the home.
Obverse Designer: Felix Schlag
Reverse Designer: Felix Schlag

Cent (Penny):

The US Mint presented Abraham Lincoln's image on the obverse of the one cent coin in 1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary year of his birth. The image shows Lincoln facing to the right in the portrait with his iconic beard, suit coat and tie. The motto, "IN GOD WE TRUST" was first introduced on coins with the Lincoln cent. The coin's obverse also includes "LIBERTY" and the date. The 1960 cent's reverse showing the Lincoln Memorial was young at the time after being first introduced on the cent in 1959 replacing the wheat ears. On the reverse, the inscription says "UNITED STATES oF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "ONE CENT." (Have you noticed all the letters are capitalized except the "o" in "oF?")
Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro

1960 Proof Set Year Population and Cost of Living

The world population in 1960 was 3,021,475,000. This represents 44.1% of the world's population in 2010.

$100 in 1960 equals $736.68 in 2010 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator.

New houses in 1960 cost an average of $12,700 which would be $93,558 in 2010 dollars.

The average income was $4,007 per year which equals $29,520 in 2010 dollars.

Gas was $0.311 per gallon which would be $2.291 in 2010 money.

The average new car was $2,812 equivalent to $20,719 in 2010.

(Chart views into the cost of living changes throughout the Proof Set years)

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