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New to Numismatics, questions about Mint and Proof Sets, thanks1

Hello, I am a neophyte to numismatics. Is there ANY reason to get U.S. Mint and/or Proof sets graded by PCGS and/or NGC? Thank you, Greg.

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    I should add, these are the coins of my clients, who have asked me to help them with them. I am an International Society of Appraisers (ISA), credentialed appraisal, but specialist in Asian modern art; Asian art, antiques and antiquities; Western fine art; fossils; ethnographic items, among other things. So, As I had three different clients in a rong ask me to help with their coins because they trusted me, I said sure! Thus, I joined PCGS, and have been reading/leaning/watching videos/learning/looking at more than 800 coins over and over and over/learning.... You get the picture! Thanks, Greg.

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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,231 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I also enjoy the sets.

    The only ones I grade are toners, varieties, cameos and the occasional coin that screams perfection.

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Are any of them older than 1950?

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @browntrout... Welcome aboard. As @MFeld indicated, the answer is mostly no. If, however, a coin in a mint set appears to be MS70, it may be worthwhile. Cheers, RickO

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    Jzyskowski1Jzyskowski1 Posts: 6,651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome
    I would suggest that you search eBay for sold and available sets. I believe you will find most are available cheaper already graded than you can grade them for. Keep researching and questions are usually answered from multiple points of view. 😁

    🎶 shout shout, let it all out 🎶

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    More details are needed as to just what coin sets are involved. As others have said, most modern proof/mint sets are not worth the cost of grading.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,231 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 20, 2022 8:31AM

    Part of the hobby is enjoyment.

    Another part is tuition... so to speak.

    The more mint state and perfect coins you handle the quicker you will train your eye.

    It is all about volume IMHO.

    Older forum members will correct me, but wasn't it the late Russ who specialized in proof set cameo's?

    Big scores $$$$

    I mean... really big scores that rank in the top 50 cherry picks

    Did a small test in the last year, I have never lost money when selling carefully selected and graded proof and mint set specimens.

    Actually made money on every submission when I flipped a few coins.

    Not alot of money, but they were beautiful coins and held up to the submission fees with the minimal cost.

    They will be forever saved for the next owner down the road.

    You are likely the big fish in a little pond.

    If you enjoy them, pursue them.

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @yspsales said:
    Part of the hobby is enjoyment.

    Another part is tuition... so to speak.

    The more mint state and perfect coins you handle the quicker you will train your eye.

    It is all about volume IMHO.

    Older forum members will correct me, but wasn't it the late Russ who specialized in proof set cameo's?

    Big scores $$$$

    I mean... really big scores that rank in the top 50 cherry picks

    Did a small test in the last year, I have never lost money when selling carefully selected and graded proof and mint set specimens.

    Actually made money on every submission when I flipped a few coins.

    Not alot of money, but they were beautiful coins and held up to the submission fees with the minimal cost.

    They will be forever saved for the next owner down the road.

    You are likely the big fish in a little pond.

    If you enjoy them, pursue them.

    @browntrout described himself as a “neophyte to numismatics”. At this point, I doubt that he’s in a position to do nearly as well as you did with your submissions.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome to the greatest hobby!

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
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    TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,851 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Some coins in the sets are sought after by the most discerning and advanced collectors. Generally speaking , one needs an eagle eye, and to be in an inner circle to make it work for them, regarding the majority of mint and proof sets being graded.
    What Feld said, in short.

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    Okay! WOW! Thank you everyone for all the kind and thoughtful replies! I will answer using the commenter's name and then my comment....

    First of all, after reading all of the comments, a) So, is there ANY reason to grade a mint/proof coin/set if one of the coins is MS 68, or MS 69, and not what I think is an MS 70? b) Are people saying, that if there is an MS 70, it should be sent in to PCGS and taken out of the mint/proof set case and graded separately in and of itself, and simply do not worry about the other coins in the set? Or, go ahead and grade them all at that point if you are taking one potential superior coin out of the set? I can see an obvious answer to this, but that does not mean it is the right answer! c) Is there a good PCGS (or other) guide to understanding "toners"? There are indeed cameo and deep cameo coins in these sets, and I will check again for varieties. I will also look on the PCGS site to see if there is toning info too. d) Is there a way to post pieces that I think I should let all of you see, before making a final decision on sending it/them in for grading, or is this frowned upon here? I have bought stuff to make a nice setup to take my coins photos with and will set that up today (an hope it works!). e) What about the simply fact that I will be looking through and "grading" through plastic cases, and whatever it is called - those flimsy plastic sealed (1960's style) plastic envelopes? Any thoughts/suggestions on how this affects "the eye," and/or what to do about this? f) Please, any final comments and criticisms are warmly accepted, thank you all!

    • ifthevamzarockin, Thanks for the kind welcome. I kind of thought it may not be worth the cost/effort to grade most of them, but, in due diligence, thought I better check.
    • yspsales, You said, "The only ones I grade are toners, varieties, cameos and the occasional coin that screams perfection." So, I guess I need to look through them all again, and see if any fit your criteria, as I simply am too new to this to know clearly without repeatedly looking at them, reading, and watching what I can get my hands on with PCGS and online. We do have a very nice 2014 $50.00 gold Buffalo, and I thought there were some coins in other sets that were nicely toned, so I will check everything again. I find toning odd, as I guess it does add value in many cases from what I am learning.
    • daltex, They are all 1963 - 2018.
    • MFeld, thank you for the welcome. Got it!
    • rickO, thank you for the welcome too! I will take a look at them all again... So, you are saying that if there is any ONE coin, in a set of coins, which is MS70, it is worthwhile then to send it in to PCGS, right? The rest not being important basically. So, essentially, I am looking for NO scratches, coin nicks, bag wear, etc..., at at least 10X mag (5X?), does this make sense? This has been a STEEP learning curve!
    • Jzyskowski1, Thanks! Yes, I did search eBay/Worthpoint/Live Auctioneers/etc... Thus why I figured it was not worth grading the sets. However, with the input here, I need to go over each coin individually again with my critical eye/learning from PCGS/and learning from all of you it seems, so as not to miss an MS70 in the sets.
    • 291fifth, thank you. I would be happy to provide a list of what we have. I did not, as this was my first post, and I did not want to be assumptive about overloading in a first post. I will do that next, thank you.
    • yspsales, Thanks for your kind list of comments! I am seeing that I must look at a LOT coins to learn, it is a time and money issue with learning. I just spent a bunch of money buying loops, pads, flips, etc..., and may buy a coin scope (however, I do have a lab level binocular scope I want to pull out and check first). Thank. I will not dismiss any of these, as they are my clients pieces, and I am obsessive about getting things as right as possible for my clients.
    • MFeld, exactly. I have been in the art and antiques appraisal business for about 20 years, dealing with bronze antiquities, and the periodic ancient coin, but I am 100% a neophyte to this coin process! Lots, and lots of initial training already, and clearly YEARS more needed!
    • Weiss, thank you for you for your kind welcome. Last time I did anything with numismatics was with my grandmother when I was about 10 years old, I am 58 now!
    • TwoSides2aCoin. Thank you. That is my worry. As stated above, I do have a very refined eye, and am always looking for critical flaws in the pieces I work on, but, every group of items, be that a Ming dynasty painting, or a Ansel Adams photograph have things that must be learned before you can see what you must see, and coins are no different, and very complex. Learn, learn, learn!

    Thank you everyone for your excellent and kind feedback, Greg.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Greg, if possible, the best thing you could do would be to find a knowledgeable collector or dealer who would be willing to screen the coins for you and advise you as to which if any, are worth submitting for grading. While not necessarily likely, that might be possible at a coin show or local coin shop.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @browntrout said:
    a) So, is there ANY reason to grade a mint/proof coin/set if one of the coins is MS 68, or MS 69, and not what I think is an MS 70?

    Depends on the years. If you list what you have, you'll get better input.

    @browntrout said:
    b) Are people saying, that if there is an MS 70, it should be sent in to PCGS and taken out of the mint/proof set case and graded separately in and of itself, and simply do not worry about the other coins in the set? Or, go ahead and grade them all at that point if you are taking one potential superior coin out of the set? I can see an obvious answer to this, but that does not mean it is the right answer!

    Again, depends on the date/denomination. If the grading expense adds enough value, then yes. If not, no. Once you take one coin out of the set, there's no good reason to keep the rest together as you'll have a hard time finding buyers for sets with coins missing.

    @browntrout said:
    c) Is there a good PCGS (or other) guide to understanding "toners"? There are indeed cameo and deep cameo coins in these sets, and I will check again for varieties. I will also look on the PCGS site to see if there is toning info too.

    Very simply, "toners" are coins with pretty colors. It's kind of subjective, what one person likes another might not. Depending on the year, cameos can be common or scarce.

    @browntrout said:
    d) Is there a way to post pieces that I think I should let all of you see, before making a final decision on sending it/them in for grading, or is this frowned upon here? I have bought stuff to make a nice setup to take my coins photos with and will set that up today (an hope it works!).

    If you post pictures, you'll get better help.

    @browntrout said:
    e) What about the simply fact that I will be looking through and "grading" through plastic cases, and whatever it is called - those flimsy plastic sealed (1960's style) plastic envelopes? Any thoughts/suggestions on how this affects "the eye," and/or what to do about this?

    When you're looking at the coins through the holders, you just have to do the best you can. It's not always easy.

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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,231 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 20, 2022 3:06PM

    I will look at anything and any date trying to find that perfect coin, with some nice hits along the way.

    With common date sets, unless you are grading the silver, the set won't be dinged very much if you pull the cent or the nickel. You can always flip it for close to melt.

    I hesitate more with the pre 1960's.

    I call it a "pop" because a PF69 will just stand out.

    You will learn to see them.

    Hard part is throwing that nice but common PF67-68 back into the pile.

    Toners and cameos are just that.... cherry on top that can push a common coin into something a bit more special.

    My avatar is a perfect example. Common date and not tremendous value, but something you can appreciate and pass down to other collectors.

    You might not make alot of money, but I doubt you will never lose money with quality.

    I dabble in Morgans and Peace dollars but try to stay in my lane.

    Wondercoin and CladKing are forever debating the pitfalls and virtues of moderns.

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

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    BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,167 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had a friend who used to make a very tough living grading coins from proof sets. Not the entire set, but selected coins. It takes a very good eye for grading.

    Goes something like this:

    You look at every set offered to you in the marketplace.

    If there are 2-3 coins that you believe will grade out high (and that definition depends on the coin's population), you buy the set.

    Unload the dogs however you can - melt, Coinstar, etc.

    Save the good ones until you have enough of the date/mintmark to qualify for bulk grading.

    Send them in for grading at the economy tier. (You can't use higher tiers as it eats your margins)

    The occasional top-pop you sell at auction for "big" money. A couple of hundred dollars vs. the usual $40 or $50 sale.

    Sell them at coin shows and to other dealers looking for inventory.

    If your eye is really good, you can average $5/coin net profit. Lather, RInse, Repeat until there aren't enough new sets coming into the market. Move on to other adventures.

    If you find a dealer with stacks of high-grade common date Roosies, Washingtons, and Franklins for sale in their case... you've found somebody doing this.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:
    Goes something like this:

    You look at every set offered to you in the marketplace.

    If there are 2-3 coins that you believe will grade out high (and that definition depends on the coin's population), you buy the set.

    Unload the dogs however you can - melt, Coinstar, etc.

    Save the good ones until you have enough of the date/mintmark to qualify for bulk grading.

    Send them in for grading at the economy tier. (You can't use higher tiers as it eats your margins)

    The occasional top-pop you sell at auction for "big" money. A couple of hundred dollars vs. the usual $40 or $50 sale.

    Sell them at coin shows and to other dealers looking for inventory.

    If your eye is really good, you can average $5/coin net profit. Lather, RInse, Repeat until there aren't enough new sets coming into the market. Move on to other adventures.

    Exactly. As Tom Hanks (as Jimmy Dugan) said:

    “If it were easy, everybody would do it."

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    jonathanbjonathanb Posts: 3,430 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As an appraiser, what value would you assign to the sets in their current state?

    As an appraiser, what value would you assign to the sets if they were slabbed?

    What is the cost of taking the sets in their current state and getting them slabbed?

    Those are not rhetorical questions. If you can't answer each one, it would be a good idea to take a pause and think about why not.

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    Everyone here is great, I want to say first! Thank you! I will do the same thing again, commenter's name, then my reply, as there are so many answers again.

    • MFeld, what should I expect to pay the collector/dealer for their time? I frequently help colleagues in the ISA at no cost, but coins are a new area for me. I have referred people to one coin dealer out here that I was referred to, so I can talk to him. But, in my profession, we are always to told to offer to pay for the help first, and allow our colleague to choose if they want to be paid or not.
    • MasonG, 1) I will make up a list and post it here for feedback, thanks! 2) Understood. 3) Understood. 4) I asked about posting all the images of the sets, becuase there are about 40 - 45 of them! I just did not want to be presumptuous about "over" burdening and over posting images. Once I get rtrhrough them again, I will take images of one set of the multiples, and none of the ones I think are not "worthy." 4) Looking through the plastic, the only key I find is, angling and rotating the coins so that I can see the shadows of the sctractes on the case move on the coin, thus, not a scratch on the coin... Thanks!
    • yspsales, thanks! Got it. Everything is a lesson right now!
    • BStrauss3, interesting lesson on how this is done in your world, thank you!
    • MasonG, got it, thanks! Same with the Asian art world. Most appraisers think they can do it, they can not! It is highly specialized, just as I know coins are - that is very clear.
    • jonathanb, exactly! Thus why I am talking to all of you, learning and trying to figure out how to best help these clients. I agree completely. My initial goal, which has not stretched on to nearly three weeks of working on this, was to just get through each coin and give them SOME concept of, if it was worthwhile to submit any to PCGS before we sell their collections. They have some possible "doozies," and they might have some - TO A NEOPHYTE! I have not gone through a phyphitically re-graded 3 full times! Most went down, but a few actually went up. So, the real next step is to go into my associates coin dealer that I have referred people to, and ask for help narrowing these down it sounds like.

    Again, thank you all very much for the critical input, it is very helpful and enlightening, Happy Thanksgiving to all, Greg.

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    A couple of my words were auto-spell corrected, excuse me, and one was supposed to be "now" and I typed "not," in the last comment... GCB.

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    By the way, do any of you know Dick Keiser, DK Enterprises, out of Bremerton, Washington State? This is who I would go to...., Or, if you have suggestions of trustworthy people on the "Olympic Peninsula side of the water" out here and/or if not, in Seattle. I will travel to work with the someone with integrity, ethics and who is the best. Thanks, GCB.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @browntrout said:
    I will travel to work with the someone with integrity, ethics and who is the best. Thanks, GCB.

    If the coins are all modern mint/proof sets, the expense of travel may not be warranted.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @browntrout said:
    Everyone here is great, I want to say first! Thank you! I will do the same thing again, commenter's name, then my reply, as there are so many answers again.

    • MFeld, what should I expect to pay the collector/dealer for their time? I frequently help colleagues in the ISA at no cost, but coins are a new area for me. I have referred people to one coin dealer out here that I was referred to, so I can talk to him. But, in my profession, we are always to told to offer to pay for the help first, and allow our colleague to choose if they want to be paid or not….

    Some dealers and collectors will do it for free, as long as the quantity of coins isn’t too large.
    Feel free to message me with your zip code and I’ll see if I can find a dealer to recommend.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    jonathanbjonathanb Posts: 3,430 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We may be getting ahead of ourselves. Do you know how to find values of coins?

    Proof sets and mint sets are commodities. You can ask "What is the value of a 1964 proof set?" and get an answer. Admittedly there is a bit of a range depending on who is buying and who is selling... But the range is fairly small for modern proof sets and mint sets like you're talking about. We're talking about tens of dollars either way, not thousands or even hundreds.

    If you don't have a price guide such as the Red Book, you should deal with that before you do anything else.

    Similarly, do you know how much it costs to get each coin graded at our host? Grading fees are published. You can look them up (and don't forget to add postage and insurance costs both ways). Based on your questions it sounds like you don't have those numbers either?

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    Thanks again!

    • MasonG, everything is traveling out here! It is part of living where I do. I do not mean flying anywhere, but having to drive fairly long distances.

    • MFeld, my zipcode is 98365, my mother's is 98110, and I visit her about weekly.

    -MasonG, Indeed! All has been part of the learning process. I do not have the "Red Book," but suppose I can get/access it. I have been using, extensively, the PCGS value guides, and the Photograde pages to help me out. I was finding that the ranges on these mint/proof sets were limited, but after the discussions here, I have been guided to examine each coin in these sets individually, to see if there might be an MS70 in them... I have started that process. Once I have purged through all of these coins and sets, I will figure out the potential costs, as my client will be paying for those if they choose to do so to get pieces graded by PCGS. I do not yet have those numbers. But, I am limiting myself to coins and sets that may be well over $500.00, usually at least $1,000.00.

    I just purchased the Red Book. Thank you everyone, Happy Thanksgiving, Greg.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @browntrout said:
    I was finding that the ranges on these mint/proof sets were limited, but after the discussions here, I have been guided to examine each coin in these sets individually, to see if there might be an MS70 in them... I have started that process. Once I have purged through all of these coins and sets, I will figure out the potential costs, as my client will be paying for those if they choose to do so to get pieces graded by PCGS.

    Not trying to direct you in any specific direction, but you might go to eBay and see what generic sets for various years sell for. There is always the possibility of finding an exceptionally high grade coin in a set, but the scarcer those coins are, the less likely it is that you will find one.

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    Browntrout,
    I'm guessing that 8 out of 10 of all the coins in all your sets will grade PR69DCAM.
    You can use this link to give you an indication of what you can expect to get for a graded Kennedy half Dollar specimen on eBay from which you can deduct grading fees as well as any shipping, insurance, time involved, etc. Simply change the date in the search for the year of the coin you wish to investigate. Hope this helps a bit. You can change the search to PR70DCAM if you think you may have a perfect coin to send in.

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524.m570.l1313&_nkw=1972+Kennedy+Half+Dollar+PCGS+PR69+DCAM&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_odkw=1971+Kennedy+Half+Dollar+PCGS+PR69+DCAM&_osacat=0&LH_Complete=1&LH_Sold=1

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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When you're looking for MS 70s, keep in mind that no coin in the series you have has ever been graded MS 70. Ever.

    Most of the coins you have won't get their money back from grading fees if graded PR 70 DCAM.

    I hate to tell you this, but it's very hard to make money grading coins out of modern mint/proof sets.

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    ColonelKlinckColonelKlinck Posts: 371 ✭✭✭
    edited November 21, 2022 6:40PM

    @daltex said:
    When you're looking for MS 70s, keep in mind that no coin in the series you have has ever been graded MS 70. Ever.

    Most of the coins you have won't get their money back from grading fees if graded PR 70 DCAM.

    I hate to tell you this, but it's very hard to make money grading coins out of modern mint/proof sets.

    Actually, PCGS Population reports have many proof coins graded PR70 in the date range of the OP's thread, just not MS70.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ColonelKlinck said:

    @daltex said:
    When you're looking for MS 70s, keep in mind that no coin in the series you have has ever been graded MS 70. Ever.

    Most of the coins you have won't get their money back from grading fees if graded PR 70 DCAM.

    I hate to tell you this, but it's very hard to make money grading coins out of modern mint/proof sets.

    Actually, PCGS Population reports have many proof coins graded PR70 in the date range of the OP's thread, just not MS70.

    The OP says he has mint sets.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @browntrout said:
    Thanks again!

    • MasonG, everything is traveling out here! It is part of living where I do. I do not mean flying anywhere, but having to drive fairly long distances.

    • MFeld, my zipcode is 98365, my mother's is 98110, and I visit her about weekly.

      -MasonG, Indeed! All has been part of the learning process. I do not have the "Red Book," but suppose I can get/access it. I have been using, extensively, the PCGS value guides, and the Photograde pages to help me out. I was finding that the ranges on these mint/proof sets were limited, but after the discussions here, I have been guided to examine each coin in these sets individually, to see if there might be an MS70 in them... I have started that process. Once I have purged through all of these coins and sets, I will figure out the potential costs, as my client will be paying for those if they choose to do so to get pieces graded by PCGS. I do not yet have those numbers. But, I am limiting myself to coins and sets that may be well over $500.00, usually at least $1,000.00.

    I just purchased the Red Book. Thank you everyone, Happy Thanksgiving, Greg.

    Use the link below and enter the 98110 zip code in the “Location” box. There appear to be a few dealers fairly close that might be willing and able to screen some coins for you.

    https://www.pcgs.com/dealers

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    jonathanbjonathanb Posts: 3,430 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ColonelKlinck said:
    Browntrout,
    I'm guessing that 8 out of 10 of all the coins in all your sets will grade PR69DCAM.
    You can use this link to give you an indication of what you can expect to get for a graded Kennedy half Dollar specimen on eBay from which you can deduct grading fees as well as any shipping, insurance, time involved, etc. Simply change the date in the search for the year of the coin you wish to investigate. Hope this helps a bit. You can change the search to PR70DCAM if you think you may have a perfect coin to send in.

    I hope the OP reads that. Over and over. And then reads it again if they still think they will find even on PR70 coin in the sets they have.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:

    @ColonelKlinck said:

    @daltex said:
    When you're looking for MS 70s, keep in mind that no coin in the series you have has ever been graded MS 70. Ever.

    Most of the coins you have won't get their money back from grading fees if graded PR 70 DCAM.

    I hate to tell you this, but it's very hard to make money grading coins out of modern mint/proof sets.

    Actually, PCGS Population reports have many proof coins graded PR70 in the date range of the OP's thread, just not MS70.

    The OP says he has mint sets.

    His first post said:

    “Hello, I am a neophyte to numismatics. Is there ANY reason to get U.S. Mint and/or Proof sets graded by PCGS and/or NGC? Thank you, Greg.”

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jonathanb said:
    I hope the OP reads that. Over and over. And then reads it again if they still think they will find even on PR70 coin in the sets they have.

    I understand the enthusiasm posters here have when hearing about unsearched collections. There have been a couple of other recent posts that demonstrated this. On the other hand, it seems easy enough to generate unrealistic expectations in the minds of those not familiar with the hobby based on that enthusiasm. Yes, there's always the chance that lightning might strike and something rare and valuable might be found but really... if the item in question is rare, the chance that one might turn up in that unsearched collection is quite slim. Maybe better to dial down the "hope" a bit- not eliminate it entirely, but try to keep it within realistic boundaries?

    Just a thought...

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    @MasonG said:

    @ColonelKlinck said:

    @daltex said:
    When you're looking for MS 70s, keep in mind that no coin in the series you have has ever been graded MS 70. Ever.

    Most of the coins you have won't get their money back from grading fees if graded PR 70 DCAM.

    I hate to tell you this, but it's very hard to make money grading coins out of modern mint/proof sets.

    Actually, PCGS Population reports have many proof coins graded PR70 in the date range of the OP's thread, just not MS70.

    The OP says he has mint sets.

    His first post said:

    “Hello, I am a neophyte to numismatics. Is there ANY reason to get U.S. Mint and/or Proof sets graded by PCGS and/or NGC? Thank you, Greg.”

    I meant mint sets along with proof sets... :)

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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,231 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love proof and mint sets more than most.

    My advice... get the cherry pickers guide, a magnifying glass, zoom capable monitor, and go to work on ebay for six months.

    Search for a broad variety (pun intended) of varieties online.

    I often lament, why drive three hours roundtrip when I can see more online much more easily?

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @yspsales said:
    My advice... get the cherry pickers guide, a magnifying glass, zoom capable monitor, and go to work on ebay for six months.

    OP says: "I am an International Society of Appraisers (ISA), credentialed appraisal, but specialist in Asian modern art; Asian art, antiques and antiquities; Western fine art; fossils; ethnographic items, among other things."

    Just guessing, but six months of time spent on that would likely eclipse anything he might accomplish educating himself on proof/mint set varieties.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 32,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 21, 2022 8:38PM

    @MasonG said:

    @yspsales said:
    My advice... get the cherry pickers guide, a magnifying glass, zoom capable monitor, and go to work on ebay for six months.

    OP says: "I am an International Society of Appraisers (ISA), credentialed appraisal, but specialist in Asian modern art; Asian art, antiques and antiquities; Western fine art; fossils; ethnographic items, among other things."

    Just guessing, but six months of time spent on that would likely eclipse anything he might accomplish educating himself on proof/mint set varieties.

    It's funny, really. When a newbie pops up and asks if his parking lot coin is a rare error, he is treated with disdain. But here, a newbie - that's NEWBIE - shows up and asks about proof and mint sets and people are telling him to look for 70s and varieties. The odds are close to zero that a neophyte could identify either with any degree of accuracy. And even then, most modern proof sets from the 80s to present aren't worth submission of 70s or minor varieties except for a handful of coins.

    Now, if the OP wants to become an expert in proof sets and varieties, that's another matter. But this is the path to a whole lot of tuition before there is any chance of a profit.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 32,001 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:

    @yspsales said:
    My advice... get the cherry pickers guide, a magnifying glass, zoom capable monitor, and go to work on ebay for six months.

    OP says: "I am an International Society of Appraisers (ISA), credentialed appraisal, but specialist in Asian modern art; Asian art, antiques and antiquities; Western fine art; fossils; ethnographic items, among other things."

    Just guessing, but six months of time spent on that would likely eclipse anything he might accomplish educating himself on proof/mint set varieties.

    P.S. it does seem that everyone forgot that the OP expressed no interest in coins himself and was just trying to help out clients.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said:
    And even then, most modern proof sets from the 80s to present aren't worth submission of 70s or minor varieties except for a handful of coins.

    And among that handful, practically everybody interested in them wants to cherrypick them.

    My brother got into cherrypicking VAMs pretty heavily. When he went to sell them, it wasn't the goldmine he expected. I suspect proof/mint set varieties (in most cases, not all) aren't a whole lot different.

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    WOW again! Thanks everyone! Seems that I have at least started an interesting topic on Newbies! Hehehe! Now to the comments comments and may replies.

    • MasonG, got it! I originally search eBay, Worthpoint, Live Auctioneers, PCGS, and Mumismaster for these mint/proof sets. Thanks.

    • ColonelKlinck, Thank you for the link, and your comment that 8 out to 10 of these mint/proof coins will grade MS69! That helps a lot to know! I have found a bit fewer than that, but I am also being hypercritical of my grading, as I know I do not know! I love Colonel Klink by the way! Thanks.

    • daltex, Thank you. I am seeing that here in this discussion! I am only trying to help my clients, and learning. Right now, I am doing all of this at no cost to them! I might get burned in the end, but, I am learning a huge amount about coins, and that is a payment all in and of itself for future reference. It took me about 1 hour on the very first coin, but now I know how to search efficiently, and pseudo-grade, etc...

    • ColonelKlinck, yes, I have found PR70s.

    • MFeld, Thank you for the link for the PCGS Auth Dealers. Close out here is a relative concept! Seattle is only about 10 miles away, but it takes at least 2.5 hours to get there from here! However, I will search, and find a reliable person, and take your and the others advice!

    • jonathanb, I have read it multiple times, and understand the point, thanks!

    • MasonG, You are 100% right about dialing down the hope. I have to tell this to EVERY one of my clients, as essentially everyone thinks they have a million dollar pieces, and they do not! I have had only a bit more than a single handful of million dollar pieces to appraise so far... they do happen, but rarely, very rarely! But, it is a good point to make, and I do get it! Thanks again!

    • yspsales, What is the Cherry Pickers Guide, another books I should have? I would be happy to get it. I DO used the internet extensively, as I would rather NOT drive!

    • MasonG, it has aleardy been three nearly solid weeks of working on these! The fact is, the best way is putting your hands on the best pieces and examining them in person, and adding to that a lot of endless learning! I am not only working on mint/proof sets, but also individual coins, rolls, etc... It has been intense!

    • jmlanzaf, You are right! I say the same things to people trying to break into my highly specialized area of expertise too! I get your point about most, nearly all, are not worth submission, thanks! However, I do have a very highly trained eye, and I am very conservative with my opinions on anything, and have been especially so with these coins. There are a few 70s I have found so far in these sets. However, how much is the plastic cast interfering with my ability to see something I should... It does! But, I am learning non-the-less. However, your point is very well taken, and fair! I really do get it. I do not know the knowledge, not experience, but, that is exactly what I am working on starting right now! I have been studying Asian art and antique and antiquities for nearly 25 years now, and I still feel like I know nothing! And I am very good at what I do! And, you are right, I am trying to help clients, as they asked for my help, and so I offered it, knowing full well that it was going to be an intense learning curve!

    • MasonG, Hahaha! I hear you!

    Thanks again everyone, it is now 1:49 AM, and I started looking at these coins, at about 10 AM this morning. So, as you can see, I am not taking my ignorance lightly! Greg.

  • Options
    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @browntrout said:
    WOW again! Thanks everyone! Seems that I have at least started an interesting topic on Newbies! Hehehe! Now to the comments comments and may replies.

    • MasonG, got it! I originally search eBay, Worthpoint, Live Auctioneers, PCGS, and Mumismaster for these mint/proof sets. Thanks.

    • ColonelKlinck, Thank you for the link, and your comment that 8 out to 10 of these mint/proof coins will grade MS69! That helps a lot to know! I have found a bit fewer than that, but I am also being hypercritical of my grading, as I know I do not know! I love Colonel Klink by the way! Thanks.

    • daltex, Thank you. I am seeing that here in this discussion! I am only trying to help my clients, and learning. Right now, I am doing all of this at no cost to them! I might get burned in the end, but, I am learning a huge amount about coins, and that is a payment all in and of itself for future reference. It took me about 1 hour on the very first coin, but now I know how to search efficiently, and pseudo-grade, etc...

    • ColonelKlinck, yes, I have found PR70s.

    • MFeld, Thank you for the link for the PCGS Auth Dealers. Close out here is a relative concept! Seattle is only about 10 miles away, but it takes at least 2.5 hours to get there from here! However, I will search, and find a reliable person, and take your and the others advice!

    • jonathanb, I have read it multiple times, and understand the point, thanks!

    • MasonG, You are 100% right about dialing down the hope. I have to tell this to EVERY one of my clients, as essentially everyone thinks they have a million dollar pieces, and they do not! I have had only a bit more than a single handful of million dollar pieces to appraise so far... they do happen, but rarely, very rarely! But, it is a good point to make, and I do get it! Thanks again!

    • yspsales, What is the Cherry Pickers Guide, another books I should have? I would be happy to get it. I DO used the internet extensively, as I would rather NOT drive!

    • MasonG, it has aleardy been three nearly solid weeks of working on these! The fact is, the best way is putting your hands on the best pieces and examining them in person, and adding to that a lot of endless learning! I am not only working on mint/proof sets, but also individual coins, rolls, etc... It has been intense!

    • jmlanzaf, You are right! I say the same things to people trying to break into my highly specialized area of expertise too! I get your point about most, nearly all, are not worth submission, thanks! However, I do have a very highly trained eye, and I am very conservative with my opinions on anything, and have been especially so with these coins. There are a few 70s I have found so far in these sets. However, how much is the plastic cast interfering with my ability to see something I should... It does! But, I am learning non-the-less. However, your point is very well taken, and fair! I really do get it. I do not know the knowledge, not experience, but, that is exactly what I am working on starting right now! I have been studying Asian art and antique and antiquities for nearly 25 years now, and I still feel like I know nothing! And I am very good at what I do! And, you are right, I am trying to help clients, as they asked for my help, and so I offered it, knowing full well that it was going to be an intense learning curve!

    • MasonG, Hahaha! I hear you!

      Thanks again everyone, it is now 1:49 AM, and I started looking at these coins, at about 10 AM this morning. So, as you can see, I am not taking my ignorance lightly! Greg.

    Greg, if any of your clients give you a hard time about their coins not being of significant value, you might want to consider pointing them to this discussion.

    The bottom line is that such sets are extremely common, odds of them being worth the cost of grading and postage are quite small and the chances of you having or acquiring the expertise to be able to know which coins might merit grading are slim. People with months, years and decades of experience often submit coins for grading and end up losing money in the process.

    I greatly respect your conscientiousness, thoroughness and great attitude.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,231 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 22, 2022 6:45AM

    @MasonG said:

    @jmlanzaf said:
    And even then, most modern proof sets from the 80s to present aren't worth submission of 70s or minor varieties except for a handful of coins.

    And among that handful, practically everybody interested in them wants to cherrypick them.

    My brother got into cherrypicking VAMs pretty heavily. When he went to sell them, it wasn't the goldmine he expected. I suspect proof/mint set varieties (in most cases, not all) aren't a whole lot different.

    BStrauss friend making $5 per coin is not far from my reality.

    I have never lost money submitting in a small sample size.

    Mostly because attractive, even common date, toner proofs can bring a small premium.

    Fees are hard to overcome unless it is a special variety.... this I know first hand.

    Like CladKings recent D/D it is as much satisfaction and bragging rights than monetary value.

    Along the way when knowledge and opportunity intersect?

    You find that major score to get you to the next intersection... this I know first hand as well :wink:

    To advance your skills (in my experience) you need a steady volume of coins.

    Few avenues easier and cheaper than proof and mint sets.

    You just can't quit or you will miss the boomer waiting to be found.

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

  • Options
    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 22, 2022 3:50PM

    Getting started with mint sets is tough but anyone can do it.

    Varieties;

    http://varietyvista.com/25 What Are Die Varieties/Mint Set Varieties.htm

    Most of the highest grades will pop right out at you but have to get a little experience before submitting them because standards are very high.

    The easiest way to get a good look at the coins is to use a thumbnail to move the coin. The scratches and blemishes on the plastic won't move.

    Tempus fugit.
  • Options
    olympicsosolympicsos Posts: 698 ✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said:

    @MasonG said:

    @yspsales said:
    My advice... get the cherry pickers guide, a magnifying glass, zoom capable monitor, and go to work on ebay for six months.

    OP says: "I am an International Society of Appraisers (ISA), credentialed appraisal, but specialist in Asian modern art; Asian art, antiques and antiquities; Western fine art; fossils; ethnographic items, among other things."

    Just guessing, but six months of time spent on that would likely eclipse anything he might accomplish educating himself on proof/mint set varieties.

    It's funny, really. When a newbie pops up and asks if his parking lot coin is a rare error, he is treated with disdain. But here, a newbie - that's NEWBIE - shows up and asks about proof and mint sets and people are telling him to look for 70s and varieties. The odds are close to zero that a neophyte could identify either with any degree of accuracy. And even then, most modern proof sets from the 80s to present aren't worth submission of 70s or minor varieties except for a handful of coins.

    Now, if the OP wants to become an expert in proof sets and varieties, that's another matter. But this is the path to a whole lot of tuition before there is any chance of a profit.

    It's also compounded by the fact that proof sets especially those after 1960 and even more so after 1968 are seen as entry level coins.

  • Options

    Thanks again for the comments everyone. I have had a few interesting findings so far in these mint/proof sets, the most specific of which is a 1971-S U.C. OGP set with a Jefferson 5C "No S" nickel! Yep! I have double checked, checked the US Mint site to make sure this is what it is in this package, and it is! What I find odd is, it is U.C., and there only seem to be examples of these "No S) coins being PR - so... what is that? I have graded this 5C as an MS65-66. PCGS has one PR69 example that sold at Heritage for over $3,000. So this UC versus PR I find confusing. I will take and post pictures once I get back home from the holidays in the next 24-48 hours. Other than this, there have been a few MS70s, but nearly everything is 69 or less, especially these older UC OGP sets. I will post the list once I am finished with it for comments. I am happy to post pictures of anything I think is MS69+-70 if you like, and I am not being a burden to the Forum. I have been using a 5X loop, and a 30x loop to do my neophyte grading, but I am also very conservative on such things, and tend to grade down, rather than up, as I just assume I am missing things.

    Anyway, I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, Greg.

    Now I will address everyones comments...

    • MFeld, Thanks again! I have actually copies a number of these comments for my clients already actually - so I am on the same page with you on that one! I believe you, understand your comments and agree with you! When I start a job, I would say I am obsessive compulsive about getting the correct answers and being factually acccurate, and in this case that has included the loose coins and mint/proof sets. It is also a HUGE learning opportunity for me, for my clients future protection, so they do not get ripped off. It is one of the HUGE problems in my industry of art, antiques and antiquities, and I have known of more than the reasonable amount of coin people who are no more ethical. I tell my clients that they should not trust anyone in the arts and antiques industry, including me, until we can prove we are worth trusting, and have the proper credentials! I PROVE who I am to my clients and why they can trust me with my words and actions. I would be rich if I was a shyster! Suffice it to say, I have not made myself rich, but I sleep at night with a clear conscience. And, on a periodic occasion, I hit a doozie! I am VERY clear that this is a completely new area of expertise, that I have a LONG way to go before I consider myself even decent at coins, as it is a specialty, and specialist must be given their due respect for their capabilities, and the learning that comes with that.

    I do understand these sets are common, and that grading is going to be rarely considered, especially these UC OGP ones, which are averaging about MS65-68 at best. The newer ones seem to be grading (my grading) to MS 67-69. The final voice of what will be submitted for grading to PCGS will be 100% the clients choice, with my information being provided to them and my "strong" and "think about it" suggestions on what I think they should submit, as well as comments for our forum conversations. I will not just be randomly and haphazardly submitting coins for them, in great part as I want to protect my professional integrity, and not waste their money to boot!

    Thank you for your kind comments. I am trying damn hard to do this as "right" as possible for them. In the end, if it is only a learning experience, trial by fire, I have gained a LOT. If I can make some money for it, that is even better! They would never have eared as much as I will get them for these things if they had do it themselves, this I know for sure!

    • yspsales, Thanks for the conversational comments!

    • cladking, Thank you for the comments and the link! I have had a hard learning curve figuring out what I am seeing on the coin relative to the plastic marks and the actual "hacks" to the coins. What I have found is that when you have a mirrored surface, the small marks on the coins reflect INTO the coin, while the scratches on the plastic reflect off the coin, and move around much more. Again, wicked learning curve!

    • olympicsos, I am glad to know that these sets are considered "entry level," that makes sense after having looked at the 600 or so separate, non-mint/proof set coins my client has, as that makes a lot of sense relative to the rest of them, as that it what I thought must be the case. Thanks! Another good lesson.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 25, 2022 2:34PM

    @browntrout said:
    Thanks again for the comments everyone. I have had a few interesting findings so far in these mint/proof sets, the most specific of which is a 1971-S U.C. OGP set with a Jefferson 5C "No S" nickel! Yep! I have double checked, checked the US Mint site to make sure this is what it is in this package, and it is!

    1971 mint sets ("1971 - U. C." on a white envelope) come with two pliofilm packages. The red bordered one contains coins from the Denver mint (1c, 5c, 10c, 25c & 50c w/ D mintmark). The blue bordered one cointains the same denominations from the Philadelphia mint (no mintmark) plus a 1c piece from San Francisco (S mintmark).

    edited to add... The only S mint nickels made in 1971 are in proof sets. The valuable "No S" 1971 nickels are the ones in those sets.

  • Options

    MasonG,

    Thank you! Yes, I have studied these sets in depth now, as I doubted I would be so lucky to find this coin once I understood what it may be. They have two (2) of these white envelope sets of 1971 U.C. coins, with both the red Denver Mint set, and the green Philadelphia and San Francisco Mint sets in both. The fun thing is, I just opened up the second 1971 - U.C. envelope, and the second green P&S set ALSO has a 1971-S Jefferson 5C also with "No S"! I am not surprised, as I am sure these packs were bought at the same time, and were likely packed by the Mint and sent out in succession, and so, there are more of these out there then! I am hoping it will grade a little higher than the first, let me look. It might be slightly better, maybe MS 65+-66+ in this case.

    Can you please try to help me understand, So, these are Proof sets then, and not Uncirculated? As the envelope clearly shows in the lower left corner, "1971 - U.C.," and there is no doubt, that the green trim cellophane set, P&S coins, have Jefferson 5C nickels with NO "S" on them both! So, am I mistaking that these are Uncirculated, and are actually proof sets? If so, I need to go back and re-PCGS number and value the other packs as PR, instead of MS. They have these same sets from "1963 - U.C."; 1964 - UC; 1965 - US; 2 x packs 1969 - U.C.; 2 x packs 1970 - U.C.; 2 x packs 1971 - U.C.; and 1 pack of 1972 - UC.

    Thanks, Greg.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @browntrout said:
    Thank you! Yes, I have studied these sets in depth now, as I doubted I would be so lucky to find this coin once I understood what it may be. They have two (2) of these white envelope sets of 1971 U.C. coins, with both the red Denver Mint set, and the green Philadelphia and San Francisco Mint sets in both. The fun thing is, I just opened up the second 1971 - U.C. envelope, and the second green P&S set ALSO has a 1971-S Jefferson 5C also with "No S"! I am not surprised, as I am sure these packs were bought at the same time, and were likely packed by the Mint and sent out in succession, and so, there are more of these out there then! I am hoping it will grade a little higher than the first, let me look. It might be slightly better, maybe MS 65+-66+ in this case.

    Those are mint sets, not proof sets. The "No S" nickel is to be expected, millions were packaged that way.

    @browntrout said:
    Can you please try to help me understand, So, these are Proof sets then, and not Uncirculated? As the envelope clearly shows in the lower left corner, "1971 - U.C.," and there is no doubt, that the green trim cellophane set, P&S coins, have Jefferson 5C nickels with NO "S" on them both! So, am I mistaking that these are Uncirculated, and are actually proof sets? If so, I need to go back and re-PCGS number and value the other packs as PR, instead of MS.

    What you described is a mint (uncirculated) set. The nickel without a mintmark in that set is supposed to come like that, it was made in Philadelphia. Proof sets in 1971 come in a hard plastic holder with a blue cardboard sleeve.

    @browntrout said:
    They have these same sets from "1963 - U.C."; 1964 - UC; 1965 - US; 2 x packs 1969 - U.C.; 2 x packs 1970 - U.C.; 2 x packs 1971 - U.C.; and 1 pack of 1972 - UC.

    Except for the 1965, those are all uncirculated, not proof. The 1965 is a Special Mint Set. Proof sets from 1955 to 1964 come in a tan envelope and are printed "19XX P.C." There are no proof sets in 1965, 66 and 67. Starting in 1968, proof sets come in hard plastic holders.

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