Could you have one of the rarest of U.S. coins struck since the 1870s in your coin collection?
If you have a 1975-S Proof set, it’s possible! The U.S. Mint sold 2,845,450 Proof sets in 1975.
When the existence of a Proof 1975-S Roosevelt, No S dime in a 1975 Proof set was revealed in a Page 1 story in Coin World 33 years ago, the collector community buzzed with excitement. The search was on. Five months later a second example was verified. However, in the ensuing years, no others have been verified.
Now the Proof 1975-S Roosevelt, No S dime is grabbing headlines again. The first set authenticated will for the first time be offered at public auction in August by Stack’s Bowers Galleries during its official auction scheduled in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill.
Officials with the auction firm estimate the coin could sell for six figures. As one of two known, the coin is the rarest of six Mint mark-less Proof coins struck at the San Francisco Assay Office (now Mint) between 1968 and 1990. All such coins were struck with an obverse die lacking the S Mint mark found on all regular Proof coins struck at the San Francisco facility.
While the majority of annual Proof sets historically have been sold to collectors and dealers, significant numbers are also sold to the general public as gift items and holiday stocking suffers. Since three of the 1975 Proof set coins (quarter dollar, half dollar and dollar) offered the new Bicentennial reverse designs, public awareness was beginning to build and sales for the year reflected an increase over the previous two years. Thus, it is reasonable to suggest that not every 1975-S Proof set has been inspected for the No S dime.
What are the odds of finding another? By the numbers, the odds are at least a million to one. But that is far better than most state-operated lotteries these days. It doesn’t cost anything other than a few minutes of your time to check your Proof sets. If you have family members or friends who have over the years purchased Proof sets, suggest they look, too. If you find one, let Coin World know! ■