Commems make difference for Prestige Proof sets: Readers Ask

Production option offered 1983, 1984, 1986 to 1997
By , Coin World
Published : 11/27/15
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Readers Ask column from Dec. 14, 2015, issue of Coin World:

On page 104 of the October issue of Coin World, I’m looking at values for Proof sets, 1983, and the listing is 1983-S and 1983-S Prestige. How can one tell if a Proof set is just “S” or “S Prestige”?

George Kreoll  /  via email

The standard Proof set produced and issued by the U.S. Mint contains coins that have frosted devices against mirrored fields and represent the circulating denominations for the specific year.

The Prestige Proof set for a particular year not only contains the same circulating denomination coins in Proof, but also incorporates one or more commemorative coins for that year, most often a silver dollar, also in Proof.

The commemorative coin selected for inclusion in the Prestige Proof set is usually from the first commemorative coin program released in the calendar year, if more than one commemorative coin program is scheduled for the year.

The Prestige Proof set was introduced in 1983 with the Los Angeles Olympic Coin Program. The Prestige Proof set for that year includes Proof strikes, with an S Mint mark indicating production at the San Francisco Mint, of the Lincoln cent, Jefferson 5-cent coin, Roosevelt dime, Washington quarter dollar and Kennedy half dollar, along with a 1983-S Los Angeles Olympic silver dollar.

With an original issue price of $59 for the 1983-S Prestige Proof set, sets still in their original Mint packaging have sold on eBay recently for as low as $21 to as high as $64.10.

Another Olympic-themed Prestige Proof set was issued in 1984 with the 1984-S Olympic silver dollar and that year’s regular Proof coins. No Prestige Proof set was issued in 1985 since no commemorative coin program was approved for that year. The Prestige Proof set became an annual offering starting in 1986.

The last year for a Prestige Proof set was 1997. The set for that year includes the 1997-S Botanic Garden silver dollar. Originally offered at $44, the six-coin set in its original Mint packaging has achieved prices realized ranging from $36.95 to $69.95 in recent eBay sales. 

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