March 15th, 2013

Proof sets prove good things never grow old

By MintState

When it comes to buying high-quality pieces, the proof is literally in the pudding.

Though they’ve been around for more than a century and a half, proof coins are the kind of collectibles that never grow old, as the specially struck coins hold both their luster and value long after they’ve been released. Becoming a common occurrence around the mid-1830s, proof coins have since been a staple of U.S. mintage, with all of the pieces currently being produced solely at the U.S. Mint in San Francisco.

It’s not where but how proof coins are minted that makes them unique. Their lustrous appearance can be attributed to the way they’re minted, as the coins are produced using polished dies that have been treated with acid, a process that makes the features of the design stand out on both the coin’s obverse and reverse. In addition, each proof coin is struck a minimum of two times to accentuate those features, a technique that punches the metal planchet into every crevice of the die, creating the finely detailed features of such pieces.

Because of this specialized production, the number of proof coins produced is often limited compared to the business strike counterparts intended for circulation. Though recent mintages number in the millions, early proof coins were often kept to several hundred pieces, making examples such as proof Barber quarters or Liberty V nickels both highly desirable and capable of demanding top dollar in the secondary market.

Though some proofs remain elusive, Coins of America can help collectors track down even seemingly long out-of-date sets by offering proof collections that date back as far as the early 1960s. In fact, collectors can track down sets from every decade since, including the recently issued 2012 varieties. While standard sets are the most common among the bunch, collectors can also find proof sets through Coins of America that provide a smattering of specialty coins, such as sets featuring State Quarter, as well as sets that include Presidential dollars and Sacagawea dollars. Collectors searching for something with even more shine can also find silver proof sets, as well as proof collections specific to a series or denomination, such as Presidential Dollar sets and the Quarter Proof sets, which feature pieces from the America the Beautiful release.

No matter which set suits your taste, check out the proofs available on Coins of America to add extra punch to your collection!

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