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Coins - 1978 Mint Set

The 1978 mint set contained twelve uncirculated coins, one each from the Denver and Philadelphia mints of the dollar, half dollar, quarter, dime, nickel and one cent coins. Made mostly of copper and nickel with some zinc in the penny, the coins did not contain any silver.  

The mint set included two pliofilm sleeves. One held the six coins from the Denver mint and the other included the coins minted in Philadelphia.

In 1978, the US Mint continued using the white envelope made of sturdy white paper to hold the mint set. In the upper left corner, a bold, blue font states "US MINT" and "1978 Uncirculated Coin" to identify the set.

1978 Mint Set Package

1978 Mint Set 

Two pieces of cardstock placed on either side of the two pliofilm sleeves help protect the coins.

1978 Mint Set open 

1978 Mint Set Uncirculated Coins

On the left, the red-edged pliofilm sleeve holds the coins from the Denver mint. The coins minted in Philadelphia show on the right in the blue-edged sleeve.

1978 Mint Set obverse 

The coins in the mint set are sealed in their individual compartments in each sleeve, but they can move to rotate into different positions in relation to each other.

Viewed from the back, the six different reverse designs on the six different coins can be easily seen through the clear pliofilm.

1978 Mint Set reverse  

1978 Mint Set Coins and Metals

The coins of the 1978 Mint Set contained the following metals:

Penny: 95% copper; 5% zinc
Nickel: 75% copper; 25% nickel
Dime: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Quarter: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Half Dollar: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Dollar: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel

Click on Mint Set Population to view the contents of the sets through the years. Take a look at the overall Mint Set page to see how the values compare among the sets.

1978 Mint Set Year - News about Coins and the US Mint

(note: the below links to newspapers open in a new window)

US Mint Plans New Dollar Coin
The Altus Times-Democrat - Apr 3, 1978
The Director of the US Mint announced there may be a new dollar coin, smaller than a half dollar, in circulation by mid-1979. Legislation is expected to be introduced by June, and if it passes, the Mint would produce 100 million coins per month to distribute as soon as 500 million have been minted.  Made of cupronickel, the dollar coins would cost three cents to make.

All Like Idea Of Dollar Coin, But Whose Image Will It Bear? 
Sarasota Herald-Tribune - May 18, 1978
The House banking subcommittee opened discussions of the new dollar coin that would be halfway between a quarter and a half dollar in size. Initial testimony overwhelmingly favored the new coin. The US Mint presented their proposed design of Liberty on one side and an eagle on the other. However, several groups lobbied for an image of Susan B. Anthony to be on the coin. The new dollar, if accepted by the public, could save $30 million per year in paper currency replacement costs.

Unwise Coin Precedent 
Toledo Blade - May 31, 1978
Though the proposal for a new dollar coin has not been controversial, the image to be used on the coin certainly has been. The US Mint proposes that the coin not diverge from the past images of historical abstracts or presidential portraits. But, members of Congress have put forth suggestions for the image of Susan B. Anthony causing discussion and arguments about the value of the image.

Treasury bows to Anthony 
The Telegraph-Herald - Jul 18, 1978
The Treasury Department threw in the towel. Per the Director of the Mint, "We want the coin, no matter whose likeness is on it, and we don't think it is worthwhile to fight over it." The government wanted "Miss Liberty" on the obverse, but various groups fought to have the image be that of Susan B. Anthony. With the Treasury conceding the fight, the legislation should be approved within the next month and new coins available by mid-1979.

Strange Penny Harasses Mint 
The Albany Herald - Aug 28, 1978
The elusive, missing aluminum pennies could be worth as much as $100,000 each according to one coin dealer. The US Mint provided sixteen of the aluminum pennies to members of Congress. When asked for them to be returned, only two arrived back at the Mint. However, since that time, six more have been found with five returned to the Mint and one being given to the Smithsonian. Mint officials decided to let the Smithsonian keep the one. Two of the five were recovered from the office of Senator Joseph Biden.  But, eight others are still missing.

Dollar change by June 
St. Joseph News-Press - Sep 27, 1978
The new dollar coin with the women's rights advocate, Susan B. Anthony, pictured on the obverse was approved in the House by a vote of 368-38. The bill, already passed by the Senate, is expected to be signed by President Carter. The Mint plans to begin producing the coins in January and distribute them in June.

Old Mint being refurbished (see picture) 
The Milwaukee Journal - Oct 1, 1978
A $3.5 million project will transform the old New Orleans Mint into a museum, library, exhibit center and shops by late 1980. All of its history including the mint, federal agencies, Confederate and Union soldiers will be represented in the renovation. The Louisiana State Museum who holds title to the property will direct the project.

Not for the Faint-Hearted 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Oct 26, 1978
This Q&A article responds to a question about a gold coin being a good gift for a golden anniversary. This author thinks gold is too volatile and another gift would be better for the golden couple.

Going for Gold 
The Milwaukee Journal - Nov 1, 1978
With the success of South Africa's gold krugerand, Congress voted to authorize the Treasury Department to offer gold one-half and one ounce medallions. With the US as the largest market for krugerands, the Mint hopes to tap into that market with the gold medallions.

US getting the gold ready for coining 
The Prescott Courier - Nov 17, 1978
The new bill requires the US Mint to produce at least a million ounces of gold medallions each year for the next five years. The new gold medallions will have likenesses of Mark Twain and Willa Cather, but they will not be legal-tender. On the other hand, like currency, the gold medallions will be protected under the counterfeit law.

First Anthony dollar struck at US Mint 
Eugene Register-Guard - Dec 15, 1978
On Wednesday, the first US coin to have a likeness of a real woman was struck at the Philadelphia mint. The coin made mostly of copper will be available next July. It recognizes the efforts of Susan B. Anthony whose life-long efforts resulted in the addition of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Gold disappears from assay office 
The Telegraph-Herald - Dec 21, 1978
Valued at $1.1 million, roughly 5200 ounces of gold has disappeared from the Treasury Department's assay office in New York. This makes only the second time in history for the US to lose some of its gold stockpile. The last time was in Denver in 1955 when an elderly employee just "gave it away, like Santa Claus." Security has tightened at the New York office since the loss was discovered recently.

The 1978 Mint Set Year included news of the controversial Susan B. Anthony dollar coin and new gold medallions.

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