Combining two hobbies in one

Coin collecting is called the “hobby of kings” and that’s also how stamp collectors feel about philately. The Franklin Mint’s Coin Sets of All Nations program, which lasted about 20 years, offers an interesting way to combine both pursuits. Coin World senior editor Jeff Starck explores the program and its possibilities.

The full transcript can be read below: 

Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief. I’m Jeff Starck of Coin World.

Coin collecting is often called the hobby of kings, but stamp collecting — sometimes dubbed the king of hobbies — is a close second.

The Franklin Mint, that famous purveyor of commemorative and circulating coins and medals, for a long time also issued coin-and-stamp sets, offering a hybrid hobby experience for parties interested in either or both pursuits.

The Franklin Mint’s Coin Sets of All Nations series ran from at least the early 1980s, until as late as the George W. Bush era.

The sets feature a range of generally Uncirculated (and sometimes Prooflike) coins from various countries, protected by plastic sandwiched in cardboard, with a stamp and postmark at the upper right corner of the card.

To explore the topic and see what collectors might expect to find in this small segment of the modern world coin market, Coin World sought out several hundred sets from various online sources.

It was a fascinating and fun endeavor, though it took many hours to assess the coins contained in the sets and determine where bargains might be found.

The sets were sold two per month on a subscription basis.

More than 200 different sets were created, with two sets available for nearly three dozen nations.

Different packaging was used for sets sold in Japan and some sets feature coins that can’t be sold in America.

In many cases there seems to have been no rhyme or reason as to which coins were used in which sets. Sometimes all the coins in a set were struck in the same year, and other times a mishmash of years are represented.

The sets sold for $13.95 each in 1985, and by 1990 had risen to $22.50 each.

Only a handful of sets today are worth more than issue price, but many sets offer coins at prices below catalog value – far below, in some cases. Hint: think Iceland and New Zealand, for starters.

I had a blast studying the topic and writing about it for the May monthly issue of Coin World, where you’ll learn a whole bunch more about this fun topic.

For all the news around the world, follow us on Twitter, find us at Facebook, online at coinworld dot com and of course in print in your mailbox.

For Coin World, I’m Jeff Starck. Happy collecting! 

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