Coins  1979 Proof
Set
The 1979 proof set included six coins, introduced the Susan B. Anthony dollar and was the last year of that
specific black package style. The proof set contained six coins of $1.91 in face value: the Lincoln cent, Jefferson
nickel, Roosevelt dime, Washington quarter, Kennedy half dollar and Susan B. Anthony dollar. The initial price from
the US Mint for the 1979 proof sets was $9.00 each.
1979 Proof Set Package
The 1979 proof set package was the last year for the black and silver box design began in 1973. The outer box is
a shiny black card stock with silver letters stating "United States Proof Set • 1979" on the top flap of the box.
The box dimensions are roughly 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches by 3/8 inch.
The edges and back of the proof set box do not contain any additional letters or marks identifying the
contents.
To access the proof set lens, the large black flap slides from under the written edge. The lens holds the coins
behind the black plastic flip cover and slides out of the box from the edge. A raised silver heraldic eagle
decorates the middle of the black plastic flip cover.
1979 Proof Set Contents and Proof Coins
The black plastic flip cover folds back to form an easel to display the lens holding the proof coins. Though
some collectors did not like the additional flip cover and chose to remove the black plastic. Some sets found today
do not have the black flip cover.
Of particular interest in 1979, the Mint was forced to update their process for applying the "S" mint mark to
the proof coins due to old, worn out tools. This change was done during the proof set production and introduced a
variety in the sets. The Type I variety reflects the older equipment with the "S" almost being an unrecognizable
blob. After updating, the Type II variety shows a clearly defined "S" on the coins. The proof sets can be all Type
I, all Type II or a mixture of Type I and Type II proof coins. Collectors pay more for the Type II sets.
In today's proof sets, the coins seem to float in the lens. In reality, the additional space allows the
collector to see the lettered edges of the dollar coins (see the 2009 Proof Set's Presidential Coins). In 1979, the
dollar coin did not contain a lettered edge, however it "floats" in the proof set lens. The Mint chose not to wait
for new lens with a smaller dollar opening. Instead, they centered the smaller Susan B. Anthony dollar in the space
occupied by the larger Eisenhower dollar in earlier sets.
The proof set lens holds the coins individually in their own circular capsule which are held firmly in the clear
plastic with the red contrasting interior. In the upper left corner, raised letters in the clear plastic identify
"PACKAGED BY US MINT." Along the bottom, "UNITED STATES PROOF COINS" is printed in silvercolored, raised letters
on the black plastic frame.
Turning the set over, the reverse designs follow from the earlier years. The Susan B. Anthony dollar utilizes a
smaller version of Frank Gasparro's rendition of the Apollo 11 insignia introduced on the reverse of the Eisenhower
dollar as seen in the earlier proof sets.
1979 Proof Set Coin Specifications
The specifications for the coins in the 1979 annual Proof Set:
Denomination 
Cent 
Five Cent 
Dime 
Quarter 
Half Dollar 
Dollar 
Obverse

Lincoln

Jefferson

Roosevelt

Washington

Kennedy

Susan B. Anthony

Designed by

V.D. Brenner

Felix Schlag

John R. Sinnock

John
Flanagan

Gilroy
Roberts

Frank
Gasparro

Reverse

Lincoln Memorial

Montecello

Torch, Olive Branch, Oak Branch

Heraldic Eagle

Heraldic Eagle

Apollo 11 Insignia, Eagle on Moon

Designed by

Frank
Gasparro 
Felix Schlag 
John R. Sinnock 
John
Flanagan

Frank Gasparro

Frank Gasparro

Composition

95% Copper, 5% Zinc

25% Nickel, 75% Copper

CuproNickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu

CuproNickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu

CuproNickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu

CuproNickel Clad, 8.33% Ni, Balance Cu 
Standard
Weight

3.110 g

5.000 g

2.268 g

5.670 g

11.340 g

8.100 g

Standard
Diameter

0.750 in 19.05 mm

0.835 in 21.21 mm

0.705 in 17.91 mm

0.955 in
24.26 mm

1.205 in
30.61 mm

1.04 in
26.5 mm

Edge

Plain

Plain

Reeded

Reeded

Reeded

Reeded

In later sets, the US Mint advises, "To preserve the beauty of your Proof Set, it should be stored in a cool,
dry place."
1979 Proof Set Year Population and Cost of Living
The world population in 1979 was 4,380,675,312. This represents 63.9% of the world's population in 2010.
$100 in 1979 equals $300.35 in 2010 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator.
New houses in 1979 cost $71,800 which would be $215,651 today.
The average income was $11,479 per year ($34,479 in today's dollars).
Gas averaged $0.857 per gallon ($2.57 in today's money).
The average new car was $6,847 ($20,565). (Chart views into the cost
of living changes throughout the Proof Set years)
