Uncirculated Mint sets contain coins produced under more or less standard conditions, and which are packaged as a set and sold for a fee over the coins face value. The sets provide collectors with Uncirculated examples of each coin struck for circulation that year, and in some...READ MORE
Uncirculated Mint sets contain coins produced under more or less standard conditions, and which are packaged as a set and sold for a fee over the coins face value. The sets provide collectors with Uncirculated examples of each coin struck for circulation that year, and in some cases, examples of coins struck for the Uncirculated Mint sets only (the three 1981 Anthony dollars, for example, and the 1970-D Kennedy half dollar).
The first Uncirculated Mint sets, with coins dated 1947, were offered in 1948. After the 1947 sets sold out, 1948-dated sets were offered to the public. Sets were again offered in 1949, but none were offered in 1950 due to a Treasury decision to conserve appropriations and manpower during the Korean War, and because Uncirculated coins were available from banks. From 1951 through 1964, sets were offered every year. The numbers of coins offered fluctuated from year to year, depending upon what denominations were being struck for circulation.
Before 1959, Uncirculated Mint sets were individually packaged in cardboard folders; each set contained two specimens of each coin struck that year. Beginning in 1959, sets were packaged in polyethylene packets and contained just one example of each coin struck that year.
No Uncirculated Mint sets or Proof sets were offered from 1965 to 1967 because of a major coin shortage sweeping the country, which was blamed in part on coin collectors and speculators. However, Mint officials did offer Special Mint sets, featuring coins not the quality of Proofs but better than those found in the pre-1964 Uncirculated Mint sets.
Production and sales of Uncirculated Mint sets resumed in 1968. From 1973 to 1978, Philadelphia and Denver Mint specimens of the Eisenhower dollar were contained in the set. In 1979, the Eisenhower dollar was replaced by the Anthony dollar, and a San Francisco Assay Office specimen was added. No Uncirculated Mint sets were offered in 1982 and 1983, with Mint officials blaming budgetary cutbacks. Because of collector pressure, Congress passed a law in 1983 requiring annual sales of both Uncirculated Mint sets and Proof sets.
As noted earlier, some Uncirculated Mint sets contain coins not struck for circulation. This generally increases the value of the sets because collectors saving an example of each coin struck each year will be unable to find the needed coins in circulation. In 1970, no half dollars were struck for circulation; thus, the 1970-D Kennedy half dollar could only be found in the set. In 1973, no Eisenhower dollars were struck for circulation, but the dollars were included in the set. The only way to obtain the three 1981 Anthony dollars was to buy the Uncirculated Mint set of that year, and in 1987, no Kennedy half dollars were struck for circulation but were included in the set. The 1996 Uncirculated sets include a 1996-W Roosevelt dime - available nowhere else - added at no charge to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the coins introduction.