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1969 Proof Sets.

cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 14, 2022 1:17PM in U.S. Coin Forum

I've always liked the S-mint proof sets quite a bit since they (mostly) have different mint marks than circulating issues and are very high quality. I don't like them as "investments" however because mintages were sky high and attrition very low.

Things have been changing in the last couple decades because most of the coins have tarnished in the older sets and few people are doing anything about it. Most of these (nearly 90%) can be cleaned with a soak in acetone but the longer they are ignored the lower this percentage drops. Only about 50 to 60% of the older sets have been lost or destroyed over the years so they are still very common but now the coins are tarnished. Lest anyone think the coins from the dismantled sets are still around I'd remind them that countless millions of S-mint proofs have been recovered from circulation. Many sets have also been lost in flood, fire, and misadventure.

The '69 is my favorite for several reasons but chiefly because nice specimens of many of the circulating versions of these are very tough in any grade now days.

I've put little effort into proof sets but over the years have cherry picked about 500 sets. I just cut up these 100 sets to clean them and check for high grades and varieties. All of the quarters, dimes, and cents needed to soak. 80% of the nickels and 90% of the halfs also needed attention. There were four nice frosted halfs, two quarters, three dimes, one nickel, and two pennies. There was one nice variety; a better DDR nickel. 90% of the coins were salvageable. 80% of the salvaged coins are nice attractive specimens.

If all these numbers were typical it implies that about 35% of mintage are still attractive coins. Since they were cherry picked I'd guess the true number is closer to 30% or a little lower. I believe this number would be ample even with a mass market but if the market were to develop very quickly then getting marketable coins available would stress the wholesalers. Demand on these is much higher than for mint sets but still puny compared to the availability of (mostly tarnished) sets. There's already a market for chPR rolls but this market is very shallow and at low prices.

I suppose the biggest shock here is that out of all these coins only three or four are candidates for grading!

Tempus fugit.

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    hfjacintohfjacinto Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have had several 1969 sets and all were terrible. Hence why I rarely collect moderns especially clad. I kept the best one and there wasn't one coin I would consider grading. The mint made cr@ppy coins from 67 to the 70's. So yes I agree with you. The 1969 Proof Set is pretty bad, but I honestly don't collect modern coins (except for ASE and Innovation dollars) that it doesn't affect me.

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    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'd say less than 50-60% of the older sets are around, but you are absolutely right. Good coins are getting harder to find.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @hfjacinto said:
    I have had several 1969 sets and all were terrible. Hence why I rarely collect moderns especially clad. I kept the best one and there wasn't one coin I would consider grading. The mint made cr@ppy coins from 67 to the 70's. So yes I agree with you. The 1969 Proof Set is pretty bad, but I honestly don't collect modern coins (except for ASE and Innovation dollars) that it doesn't affect me.

    Are any of the coins in the set you kept pristine?

    Most of what the mint made before 1972 was very poor quality even including the mint and proof sets. Some of these coins are highly elusive even in nice attractive MS-65. None are truly rare but they can be very tough to find and even the coins made for circulation are almost all gone except for a few low grades and culls.

    You have one more '69 proof set than I do!

    Tempus fugit.
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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl said:
    I'd say less than 50-60% of the older sets are around, but you are absolutely right. Good coins are getting harder to find.

    You may well be right. I don't have the feel for the proof sets I do for the mint sets and some of the numbers are harder to deduce. For instance you can find coins with mint set crimping damage in circulation since they circulate freely but most proofs are nabbed before they get down to PR-45.

    I used to see mountains of proof sets and they're all gone but I suspect there are more proof sets in collections than mint sets. Mint sets are more likely to be destroyed to update denomination sets but people want original packaging for proof sets.

    It's really hard to estimate proof sets for me.

    Tempus fugit.
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    RichRRichR Posts: 3,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    First '69 Mint sets and now '69 Proof sets...

    I guess 1969 was an excellent year for the Mets, Moon landings, but not US coin sets!!!

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    hfjacintohfjacinto Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cladking said:
    >
    Are any of the coins in the set you kept pristine?

    The best ones are the 5 cents and quarter, all the others have marks with a carbon spot on the cent. I think the 50 cents could be dipped to make it better, based on the condition, I would be surprised if any get better than PF66.

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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RichR said:
    First '69 Mint sets and now '69 Proof sets...

    I guess 1969 was an excellent year for the Mets, Moon landings, but not US coin sets!!!

    They're companion threads. B)

    It was really a very tough year for coins that didn't want to circulate and sets that wanted to still be around in 2029.

    Tempus fugit.
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    hfjacintohfjacinto Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Pictures (I don’t have my dslr set up ready so you get an iPhone picture)


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    GaCoinGuyGaCoinGuy Posts: 2,721 ✭✭✭✭

    The 69 Proofs are tough to find anymore that aren't hazed or single sided Cameos. The Cents are super tough in DCAM at any grade.

    imageimage

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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @hfjacinto said:

    @cladking said:
    >
    Are any of the coins in the set you kept pristine?

    The best ones are the 5 cents and quarter, all the others have marks with a carbon spot on the cent. I think the 50 cents could be dipped to make it better, based on the condition, I would be surprised if any get better than PF66.

    Thank you very much!

    My experience is that even sets stored under ideal conditions are little better than the ones stored in poor conditions. It sounds like yours is a little better. The only truly exceptional coin is the quarter which are usually at least hazed.

    Odds are good everything can be pristine again except the cent which is toast.

    Tempus fugit.
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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @hfjacinto said:
    Pictures (I don’t have my dslr set up ready so you get an iPhone picture)


    Thanks again. That's better than 95% of the ones I just cut up.

    Tempus fugit.
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    hfjacintohfjacinto Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cladking said:

    Thanks again. That's better than 95% of the ones I just cut up.

    I must have looked through 20 of the 1969 sets, my local dealer has a lot of proof and uncirculated sets (if you are interested)

    https://www.doelger.com/

    This was the best one and I noticed the carbon spot. I figured I have a few nice cents in the Dansco, this was probably the best I could do that day, and at $7, its really no big deal. Starbucks costs more than $7.

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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 14, 2022 1:43PM

    @GaCoinGuy said:
    The 69 Proofs are tough to find anymore that aren't hazed or single sided Cameos. The Cents are super tough in DCAM at any grade.

    I cherry picked my sets starting in about 1985. I believe very few sets had been cherried by that time and I quit around 1995. There are lots of one sided cameos in what I just tubed up. Apparently this reflects mint procedure in 1969.

    One of my cents is a very brilliant two sided cameo but only PR-67 or low end 68. In terms of cleanliness it's only about 50th %ile. It's probably the finest in the 500 sets I cherried.

    Tempus fugit.
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    RichRRichR Posts: 3,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How much was the issue price for mint and proof sets in 1969?

    I'm guessing not more than $4

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,622 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 14, 2022 2:55PM

    1969-S PF sets - I like them. Bought 14 when hs kid in 1969 at $5 from usm then sold to coin shop abt yr later at $18 each. My first big coin score! People go crazy when usm material comes out then it falls….

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,716 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For raw coins in 1969 Proof Sets in OGP or after market holders my thoughts are:

    1. Finding cents worth grading (high grade, blazing red; or high grade DCAM, without haze, carbon spots or other flaws) is extremely difficult;

    2. High grade nickels can be of DCAM+++ quality (with deeply mirrored fields and devices on both sides that are so heavy and thick with frost that they appear to have had the frost artificially applied after the coin was minted) which makes them standout over all other 1938-1970 proof nickels. They are extremely hard to find;

    3. High grade Dimes can also be extremely difficult to find with DCAM quality. I have never seen one that makes me stop and stare at it;

    4. High grade DCAM Quarters with mirrored fields, devices on both sides that are frosted to the same degree as the nickels described above are extremely difficult to find (my best find was one with this level of frost only on the obverse and a brilliant reverse); and

    5. High grade DCAM, black and white half dollars are easier to find than the minors, however most of those that I have seen over the years have some flaws on coin (mostly on the central devices, including frost breaks, carbon spots, marks, etc.). Flawless examples of these coins (i.e. PF69DCAM) are very attractive.

    Attached are some photos of some recently graded 1969 Proof coins I have (some toned).




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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SanctionII said:
    For raw coins in 1969 Proof Sets in OGP or after market holders my thoughts are:

    1. Finding cents worth grading (high grade, blazing red; or high grade DCAM, without haze, carbon spots or other flaws) is extremely difficult;

    2. High grade nickels can be of DCAM+++ quality (with deeply mirrored fields and devices on both sides that are so heavy and thick with frost that they appear to have had the frost artificially applied after the coin was minted) which makes them standout over all other 1938-1970 proof nickels. They are extremely hard to find;

    3. High grade Dimes can also be extremely difficult to find with DCAM quality. I have never seen one that makes me stop and stare at it;

    4. High grade DCAM Quarters with mirrored fields, devices on both sides that are frosted to the same degree as the nickels described above are extremely difficult to find (my best find was one with this level of frost only on the obverse and a brilliant reverse); and

    5. High grade DCAM, black and white half dollars are easier to find than the minors, however most of those that I have seen over the years have some flaws on coin (mostly on the central devices, including frost breaks, carbon spots, marks, etc.). Flawless examples of these coins (i.e. PF69DCAM) are very attractive.

    Attached are some photos of some recently graded 1969 Proof coins I have (some toned).




    I'm a little surprised they graded the first dime and first quarter due to the hazing. None of my quarters can touch these. One of the dimes is better.

    Tempus fugit.
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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RichR said:
    How much was the issue price for mint and proof sets in 1969?

    I'm guessing not more than $4

    I think the Proof Sets were $5 and they had already raised the mint set price from $2.10

    Don't recall.

    Tempus fugit.
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    KurisuKurisu Posts: 1,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Now I need to grab mine...
    I'm a 1969 baby and I still have the proof set my Aunt gave me when I was about 11.

    Coins are Neato!

    "If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone...somewhere...is making a penny." - Steven Wright

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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cougar1978 said:
    1969-S PF sets - I like them. Bought 14 when hs kid in 1969 at $5 from usm then sold to coin shop abt yr later at $18 each. My first big coin score! People go crazy when usm material comes out then it falls….

    This is still very common. If you buy on the secondary market you'll not only know the supply and demand but you can select for quality and pay a lower price.

    Some day this will quit working and the prices will continue higher.

    Tempus fugit.
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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I found an old Coins Magazine that lists the issue price of the mint set at $2.50

    Tempus fugit.
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    BigtreeBigtree Posts: 197 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 14, 2022 11:23PM

    Here’s my PR68 quarter. May be the best $30 on a coin I’ve ever spent.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I will have to watch for some 1969 sets at the gun shows... several tables usually have some coins, and two have had mint sets. In the past I just checked for 1964 sets to look for AH Kennedy's. Cheers, RickO

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    Coin FinderCoin Finder Posts: 6,953 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So @cladking , What makes a pristine coin in your experience?, What do you soak in and for how long? Are you focused only on cams and dcams? Thanks!

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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @thebigeng said:
    So @cladking , What makes a pristine coin in your experience?, What do you soak in and for how long? Are you focused only on cams and dcams? Thanks!

    Well, frankly I wasn't aware until now that the services will slab hazed proof coins. This will cut back substantially on the percentage of '69 proof coins that need cleaning. Obviously they grade toned coins.

    To remove tarnish and haze I use a many step process. I start with a short soak in dishwashing liquid (a few minutes) and then rinse very thoroughly and pat dry with a plush towel. Depending on many factors this will save between 20% and 90% of the coins. The rest of the coins go back in the detergent for a longer soak and are pulled out with a microfiber cloth and wiped very gently before another rinse. This will take care of about 40% to 75% of the remaining coins. Any that are still bad go into a mixture of 91% alcohol and acetone for up to a week then rinsed quickly and dried.

    With most mint and proof sets this will make about 90% of the coins look like the day they were minted. Some coins like '68 BU dimes or some of the proof clads have a very low survival rate. Some like the '68-P or '84-P cent are just ruined almost in their entirety in advance because they are carbon spotted.

    Hazing and tarnish help to hide marking and chatter so restoring proofs to original condition for slabbing might actually be counterproductive. The mint sets certainly need restoration, I believe, but the proof sets not as much. I still like the '69 proof set, though and I prefer proofs without haze.

    I would suggest that anyone trying to duplicate this start with very low value coins because a few will be ruined.

    Tempus fugit.
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    ModCrewmanModCrewman Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 15, 2022 2:13PM

    I'm surprised you go through such a time consuming process @cladking. My approach to these is to use MS70 and a Q-tip to remove haze or a quick dip in E-Z-est coin cleaner to remove both haze and unattractive toning. Either of these two is followed by a rinse under room temperature tap water for 15-30 seconds, a soak in Acetone for 5-10 minutes, then a rinse in distilled water, dry with a hot air hair dryer, and then sit exposed on a paper towel for 5 minutes or more. I've had really good luck with that process.

    These are my best 1969 proofs purchased raw and submitted by me. The best of at least 500 and more likely over 1,000 sets scanned over the past decade. Only good enough for 6th in PCGS registry - ModCrewman 1969 Proof Set. I'm pretty confident everything in this set but the Lincoln has been dipped.

    PR68 DCAM

    PR69 DCAM

    PR69 DCAM

    PR68 DCAM

    PR69 DCAM

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    SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,716 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 15, 2022 2:37PM

    Modcrewman's 1969 Proof nickel and quarter are great examples of the best of these individual coins.

    I have not come close to finding either of these coins with the quality of Modcrewman's nickel and quarter. I did find an OGP set 25+ years ago that had a quarter with an obverse similar to Modcrewman's quarter. I held my breath and turned the set over to look at the reverse of the quarter. It was brilliant only, with not a hint of frost. I was very disappointed.

    My 1969 Proof quarter pictured above is the best I have been able to find raw. It is not even remotely close to the quality of Modcrewman's quarter.

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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ModCrewman said:
    I'm surprised you go through such a time consuming process @cladking. My approach to these is to use MS70 and a Q-tip to remove haze or a quick dip in E-Z-est coin cleaner to remove both haze and unattractive toning. Either of these two is followed by a rinse under room temperature tap water for 15-30 seconds, a soak in Acetone for 5-10 minutes, then a rinse in distilled water, dry with a hot air hair dryer, and then sit exposed on a paper towel for 5 minutes or more. I've had really good luck with that process.

    These are my best 1969 proofs purchased raw and submitted by me. The best of at least 500 and more likely over 1,000 sets scanned over the past decade. Only good enough for 6th in PCGS registry - ModCrewman 1969 Proof Set. I'm pretty confident everything in this set but the Lincoln has been dipped.

    PR68 DCAM

    PR69 DCAM

    PR69 DCAM

    PR68 DCAM

    PR69 DCAM

    Yours are nicer than mine except I have a comparable cent and a little better half dollar. My dime is almost as nice. You win 4 outta 5.

    Tempus fugit.
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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SanctionII said:
    Modcrewman's 1969 Proof nickel and quarter are great examples of the best of these individual coins.

    I have not come close to finding either of these coins with the quality of Modcrewman's nickel and quarter.

    The quarter is head and shoulders nicer than my best. I didn't even find a two sided cameo.

    Curiously quarters are the first thing I look at when cherry picking any modern sets and I'm sure I wouldn't have passed up a nice one.

    Tempus fugit.
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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ModCrewman said:
    I'm surprised you go through such a time consuming process @cladking. My approach to these is to use MS70 and a Q-tip to remove haze or a quick dip in E-Z-est coin cleaner to remove both haze and unattractive toning. Either of these two is followed by a rinse under room temperature tap water for 15-30 seconds, a soak in Acetone for 5-10 minutes, then a rinse in distilled water, dry with a hot air hair dryer, and then sit exposed on a paper towel for 5 minutes or more. I've had really good luck with that process.

    I guess I need to try the E-Zest. I've had terrible luck with MS-70. I've tried it most on BU coins but it does little better on proofs.

    I had to restore a lot of coins before selling them and my method was developed more for speed than about anything. I could do them in large quantities using this technique. For individual coins I would use a different method. I easily cleaned about ten rolls of quarters at a time and it took less than an hour to have them "done" except for a few soaking in alcohol.

    Tempus fugit.

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