Set of 14 1983-1997 Prestige Proof Coin Sets
A Prestige Proof set is produced by the U.S. Mint containing one or more proof commemorative coins released in the same year, as well as a proof cent, nickel, dime, quarter and half dollar. This set includes the years 1983 to 1997. They are in original government packaging as pristine as the day they were first released to the public.
A proof coin is a coin struck using a special, high-quality minting process and made especially for collectors. Modern proof coins are struck twice on special polished dies and have mirror-like fields and frosted devices.
Distributed by the Franklin Mint. Country of origin is United States.
The idea of striking an image of a past president on a circulating coin in the United States ignited a controversy in 1909. The act of honoring the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth by etching his likeness into the American cent directly violated a long-standing tradition in American coinage. Many believed that the custom established by George Washington of not using the images of presidents on circulating coins should be respected. Despite this resistance, the coin adopted the image of Lincoln and also the initials of the coin's designer, Victor D. Brenner. The relative prominence of the V.D.B. on the reverse of the coin led many to criticize the design. The initials were removed shortly thereafter but eventually returned in a more subtle form in 1918.
The coin debuted with a reverse featuring a pair of wheat ears encircling the words, "One Cent" and "United States of America". The term "Wheat Penny" derives from this reverse design. In 1959, to honor the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, a new reverse, designed by noted U.S. Mint Engraver, Frank Gasparro, replaced the original. The new reverse displayed a striking image of the Lincoln Memorial surrounded by the words, "One Cent" and "United States of America." This reverse design remained on the penny until 2009 when four new reverse images were introduced to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth and the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Cent. The four designs each honored a different stage of Lincoln's life and were released one at a time every three months over the course of the year.Coin Glossary:
Die: An engraved piece of metal used to stamp a design on a coin.
Die crack: A small, raised imperfection on a coin resulting from a crack in the stamping die.
Early release: The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) uses this designation for U.S. Bullion Coins during the first month of release from the U.S. Mint. To qualify for Early Release designation, NGC must receive the coins within 30 days of their release by the US Mint or properly documented as being received by an NGC approved entity within the same 30-day release period.
Encapsulated coin: A coin graded and authenticated by a professional coin service, then sealed in plastic.
Field: The typically flat area surrounding the relief and not used for legend or inscription.
Legal tender: Official money issued by the government.
Legend: The coin's primary lettering.
Lettered edge: An inscription added to the edge of a coin.
Luster: The quality of the surface brilliance on a Mint State or Uncirculated coin.
Mercury dime: Issued from 1916 to 1945, this U.S. dime featured a representation of Liberty in a winged hat that was commonly mistaken for the ancient god, Mercury.
Mint: A government controlled coin production facility.
Mint mark: A small letter stamped on a coin that indicates its mint origin, ex. "D" for Denver.
Mint Set: One coin from each of the available denominations in a particular year, produced by a single mint and made for circulation.
Mint State (Uncirculated): A regular production coin never used in trade and existing in its original condition.
Mintage: The number of coins produced.
NGC: Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.
Numismatics: The collection and study of monetary objects such as coins and paper bills.
Obverse: Heads, or a coin's front side.
Patina: Surface discoloration, typically green or brown, caused by oxidation over time.
PCGS: Professional Coin Grading Service.
Planchet: A blank metal piece used to produce a coin.
Proof: Expertly polished planchets and dies produce these coins which feature an extremely high quality strike, resulting in unmatched detail and brilliant surface finish.
Reeded edge: A coin edge finish featuring parallel vertical grooves all the way around.
Relief: The raised portion of a stamped design that sits above the coin's field.
Reverse: Tails, or coin's back side.
Rim: The raised ring around the perimeter of a coin designed to reduce wear on the relief.
Strike: The act of stamping a coin.
Truncation: The bottom edge of a portrait or bust.
Wheat penny: Lincoln cents issued from 1909 to 1958 bearing the wheat ear design on the reverse.
First minted in 1916, this United States ten-cent piece features an image on the obverse of Lady Liberty wearing a winged Phrygian cap. The likeness drew comparisons to the Roman messenger god, Mercury, giving the coin its nickname. The cap Liberty wears has origins in ancient Greece and Rome and became a symbol of freedom used by revolutionaries in France and America during the late 18th century. The designer of the coin, Adolph Weinman, added wings to the sides of the cap to specifically call to mind freedom of thought.
The reverse of the Mercury dime features the fasces at the center supported by an olive branch. The fasces is an ancient Roman symbol of power and authority composed of rods arranged parallel and wrapped to the handle of an ax, while the olive branch is a traditional symbol of peace. The United States Mint struck the Mercury dime until the end of 1945. In 1946, John Sinnock's new design for the ten-cent coin honoring President Franklin Delano Roosevelt replaced the Mercury dime and continues today.
Three years after the end of World War II, the United States Mint announced intentions to replace the aging Liberty Walking half-dollar design with a brand new motif featuring a likeness of noted American inventor, philosopher, and statesman, Benjamin Franklin. Treasury Secretary John Snyder had hopes that Franklin's virtues of thrift and financial responsibility might be included among the many themes celebrated and commemorated by the coin's design. The United States Mint produced the coin until 1963, when special legislation replaced it with the Kennedy Half-Dollar.
Franklin's image on the obverse of coin was created by John R. Sinnock, who was also responsible for Franklin Roosevelt's portrait on the obverse of the 1946 dime. For the reverse of the Franklin half dollar, the Mint chose another icon from America's founding era, the Liberty Bell. However, a problem arose in the design as, according to established law, a representation of an eagle must be present on all silver coins with denominations greater than one dime. U.S. Mint sculptor, Gilroy Roberts, added a small eagle to the left of the Liberty Bell on Sinnock's design in order to comply with the requirement.
Following the tragic events of November 22, 1963, the United States Mint, at the behest of the newly sworn President Lyndon Johnson, began designing a coin for circulation that would feature the image of President John F. Kennedy. An influx of letters from the public to the Mint suggested that a significant portion of the grieving American citizenry agreed with the idea of honoring the late thirty-fifth President. The White House proposed the new coin be of half-dollar denomination and Congress swiftly passed the appropriate legislation to fast track production.
The Chief Engraver of the United States Mint at the time, Gilroy Roberts, created the now famous, commanding bust of President John F. Kennedy, which appears on the obverse of the coin. The reverse of the coin features U.S. Mint Engraver Frank Gasparro's slightly modified version of the official Presidential Seal. The new half-dollar coin became a part of the nation's circulating coinage starting in 1964 and remains so to the present. The only major change in design over the past 46 years came in 1976 when the United States celebrated its bicentennial. Just for that year, the reverse displayed an image of Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the obverse featured a dual date of 1776 - 1976. The original design resumed in 1977.
Liberty Walking Half-Dollar:
Renowned designer Adolph Weinman created the images displayed on this legendary fifty-cent piece which was struck by the United States Mint between the years 1916 and 1947. The obverse shows Lady Liberty mid-step, draped in the American flag with her right arm extended toward the sun and her left arm cradling olive branches. The reverse features a bald eagle perched on a branch.
The Liberty Walking Half-Dollar and the Mercury Dime, both designed by Adolph Weinman and introduced in 1916, each replaced a coin created by Charles Barber in their respective denominations. A new initiative championed by President Theodore Roosevelt near the turn of the century sought to have the nation's coinage redesigned and infused with a fresh sense of artistry. The movement resulted in the Barber-designed half-dollar, quarter-dollar, nickel, and dime being succeeded by the Liberty Walking Half-Dollar, Liberty Standing Quarter-Dollar, Buffalo Nickel, and Mercury Dime between the years 1913 and 1916.
The United States Mint began the American Eagle coin program in 1986. American Eagles are struck each year in silver, gold, and, since 1997, platinum bullion. The Silver Eagle is only available in a $1 denomination. As genuine legal tender, it is the only silver bullion coin whose weight and purity are guaranteed by the United States Government. Each silver coin contains a minimum of one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver.
The Silver Eagle obverse features Adolph Weinman's classic "Liberty Walking" design which shows Lady Liberty mid-step, draped in the American flag with her right arm extended toward the sun and olive branches cradled in her left arm.
A provision in the Bank Holding Company Act of 1970 calling for the creation of a new dollar coin led to the design and production of the Eisenhower dollar, or "Ike" dollar. First struck in 1971, this coin featured on its obverse a superbly rendered profile of President Dwight D. Eisenhower by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver, Frank Gasparro. The reverse, also created by Gasparro, honored the first Moon Landing with a design inspired by the official Apollo 11 insignia. This dollar coin was the first to be minted and released since the end of the Peace Dollar production in 1935.
For the Bicentennial of the United States in 1976, the U.S. Mint held a contest and took submissions for reverse designs to be used on the Eisenhower Dollar for the celebratory year. An image by Dennis R. Williams featuring the Liberty Bell in front of the Moon was chosen to appear on the dollar coin. The dual date of 1776-1976 was added to the obverse.
An icon of the Old West and possibly the most popular coin in the history of the United States, the Morgan Silver Dollar continues to be a tremendous source of intrigue and inspiration for new and seasoned collectors alike. Designed by George T. Morgan, the coin debuted in 1878 and featured a depiction of Liberty on the obverse and an image of an eagle clutching arrows and an olive branch on the reverse.
Massive discoveries of precious metals in the American West during the mid to late 19th century, including the Comstock Lode, produced large amounts of silver bullion which began to drive down the Morgan Dollar's value. Those with vested interest in the price of silver appealed to the federal government for a solution to the falling market share of the coveted metal.
The result was the Bland-Allison Act of 1878 that sought to counteract the Coinage Act of 1873, also known as the Crime of '73, which demonetized silver and made gold the US currency standard. The US government approved the Bland-Allison Act to subsidize the silver industry through huge purchases of silver bullion to be minted into the Morgan Silver Dollar.
The Morgan Dollar was struck from 1878 until 1904. The design made a brief comeback in 1921 but was replaced by the Peace Dollar later that year.
First issued in 1921, this United States one dollar silver coin succeeded the famous Morgan Dollar and featured a design by Anthony de Francisci. The armistice reached in the fall of 1918, putting an end to World War I, provided inspiration for the coin. The word "PEACE" found a home on the reverse of the design and bestowed upon the coin its name. The coin was minted from 1921-1928, then again in 1934 and 1935. The U.S. Mint brought the coin back briefly in the mid-1960s, but all Peace Dollars with the 1964 date were melted and never released into circulation.
The Peace Dollar was originally intended to be only a commemorative issue coin but fell into circulation in 1922. Its obverse features a profile of Liberty wearing a crown. The reverse shows an eagle perched on a rock near an olive branch while facing the rays of the sun.
The Presidential Dollar Program from the United States Mint ranged from 2007-2016. The Mint issues four coins per year with each coin honoring a different U.S. President. Presidents are featured in chronological order by term in office, beginning with George Washington. The obverse of the coin displays the image of a former U.S. President and changes with each release, while the reverse depicts the Statue of Liberty and remains constant for all strikes. The composition and dimensions of the Presidential Dollars mirror that of the Sacagawea Dollar in that they are golden in color, have a smooth edge, and feature a wide rim. The golden color is derived from layers of manganese brass covering a pure copper core.
When the Susan B. Anthony Dollar began circulation in 1979, it was often mistakenly identified as a quarter due to similar physical characteristics. As a result, it did not achieve widespread public acceptance. So to avoid the issues that prevented the success of the Susan B. Anthony Dollar, Congress passed the United States $1 Coin Act of 1997. This law stipulated that the next dollar coin should be golden in color, have a smooth edge, and feature a wider rim. These new attributes would allow the coin to be easily identified by sight or touch and distinguishable from other circulating coins.
Noted sculptor Glenna Goodacre's depiction of Sacagawea carrying her son, Jean Baptiste, won the favor of the DCDAC and became the obverse of the Golden Dollar. Sacagawea was the Native American Shoshone woman who acted as guide and interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Because no known contemporary images of Sacagawea exist, artist Glenna Goodacre modeled the Sacagawea Dollar after a 22-year-old Shoshone woman.
The reverse of the coin was designed by U.S. Mint Engraver, Thomas D. Rogers, Sr., and shows an eagle in flight surrounded by 17 stars. Each star represents a state in the Union in 1804, the first year of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The golden color of the Sacagawea Dollar derives from layers of manganese brass covering a pure copper core.
Susan B. Anthony Dollar:
The Susan B. Anthony dollar began circulation in 1979 amid much anticipation. Criticism quickly met the newly struck coin, though, as it was often mistakenly identified as a quarter due to similar physical attributes, such as the diameter and the reeded edge. As a result, the Sacagawea Dollar replaced the SBA Dollar.
Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, Frank Gasparro, sculpted the likeness of pioneer women's rights campaigner, Susan B. Anthony for the obverse of the coin. This marked the first occasion that a woman, other than a representation of Liberty, appeared on a United States coin. Gasparro also produced the modified Apollo 11 insignia motif for the reverse of the coin.
The Buffalo Nickel was designed by James Earle Fraser and first minted in 1913. This extremely popular and legendary coin features the profile of a Native American man on the obverse and the image of a bison on a small hill on the reverse. Fraser revealed before his death that his depiction of the man on the obverse was a composite profile based upon Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux, Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne, and possibly a third man. Although this third person was not specified by Fraser, many believe him to be Chief Big Tree of the Kiowa. The reverse design is thought to be an image of a famous bison at the time named Black Diamond, which lived at the New York Zoo.
The United States Mint produced the coin up until 1938 when it was replaced by Felix Schlag's portrait of Thomas Jefferson on the obverse and an image of the third President's home, Monticello, on the reverse. In 2006, James Earle Fraser's definitive work on the Buffalo Nickel was again used as the design for the new 24K gold American Buffalo coin. The U.S. Mint also struck a coin in 2001 featuring Fraser's famous Buffalo Nickel design to commemorate the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian in the Smithsonian Institution.Mints & Mint Marks
The United States' first mint was opened in Philadelphia in 1793. Cents and half-cents were its first coins struck for circulation. Dies were cut by hand and each cutter added their own touch to the coin. Horses and strong men were the "machines" that operated the presses that made the coins. Mints were located in Philadelphia (PA), Denver (CO), West Point (NY), San Francisco (CA), Carson City (NV), New Orleans (LA), Charlotte (NC) and Dahlonega (GA). Only four of these mints currently exist: Philadelphia, Denver, West Point and San Francisco. The other four were closed soon after the Civil War.
A mint mark is a small letter struck on an open area of a coin to represent the mint location where it was made. While mint marks began in ancient Greece and Rome, the first mint marks to appear on coins in the United States were in 1838. Mint marks were usually struck on the reverse side of the coins. In 1968, however, mint director Eva Adams changed the striking to the obverse of the coin in order to gain uniformity.
Mint marks are quite important to collectors because they help to determine a coin's value. A coin may have been struck in mass quantities at one mint, yet struck in smaller quantities at another. The coin struck in smaller quantities may be worth more than the one produced at a larger count. Mint marks are also important to collectors who gather the same coin from every mint it was struck.
The Philadelphia Mint has always been the main U.S. Mint location, yet the majority of coins struck there did not have mint marks until 1980. It carried the title of the world's largest mint until 2009. All coins from Philadelphia carry the letter "P". Pennies, however, are the exception, as they do not carry mint marks.
The Denver Mint opened in 1906 due to the gold and silver discoveries in Colorado. Coins produced there are marked with the letter "C". The West Point Mint opened in 1988 and coins produced there are marked with the letter "W". The San Francisco Mint opened in 1854, thanks to the gold rush in California. Coins produced there are marked with an "S".
The grade of a coin is an essential element of information when it comes to coin collecting. The grade explains what physical condition the coin is in, therefore is important in determining a particular coin's value. Below explains the different coin grades given by most certification companies, from flawless to poor condition.
Coin Certification Companies
The United States Treasury initially conceived of a limited issue commemorative coin to honor the bicentennial of George Washington's birth. However, after winning over the American public so convincingly upon its debut in 1932, the new coin was retained indefinitely. The obverse of the coin features the bust of George Washington, while the reverse shows an eagle with expanded wings clutching a bundle of arrows over an olive branch.
The design is the work of sculptor John Flanagan and came about as a result of an open competition held by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1931. A judging panel initially selected the submission of Laura Gardin Fraser (wife of Buffalo Nickel designer, James Earle Fraser) as the winner, but was overruled by Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon, who declared Flanagan's design victorious. Though Mellon cited Flanagan's superior work as his reason for his decision, some believe the truth was that he simply could not bring himself to award first prize to a woman. In 1999, the United States Mint issued a five-dollar commemorative gold piece marking the 200th anniversary of Washington's death which featured Laura Gardin Fraser's design submission from the 1931 Washington Quarter contest.
For the Bicentennial of the United States in 1976, the U.S. Mint held another contest and requested design concepts for a reverse to be used on the Washington Quarter for the celebratory year. Similar competitions for the Bicentennial celebration were also held for the dollar and half-dollar coin designs. An image by Jack L. Ahr, featuring a regimental drummer in colonial army uniform adjacent to a torch surrounded by 13 stars, was chosen to appear on the quarter coin. The dual date of 1776-1976 was added to the obverse. John Flanagan's original design resumed production in 1977.
In 1999, the United States Mint celebrated the debut of the 50 State Quarters program. For every year in the subsequent decade, the Mint released five different reverse designs for the Washington quarter with each design honoring a different State in the Union. States were recognized by order of their entrance into the Union. The District of Columbia and United States Territories were honored in the same manner throughout the year in 2009. In 2010, the United States Mint began a 56-issue series for the Washington Quarter titled America the Beautiful Quarters program. Reverse designs in this series will feature national parks and sites in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories.