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Should these 1985 Commemorative Mint sets be broken up to save the coins

Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 3,963 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 20, 2023 3:44PM in U.S. Coin Forum

I vaguely remember @cladking saying that these Commemorative Mint sets weren’t put together by the mint and that the plastic can ruin the coins in them. Is that true? What other years did they do this. Should the coins get rinsed in acetone and get put into saflips or something like that?

Just doing some routine maintenance/inventory work on some of my old mint sets and wondering if something needs to be done to these



  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 30,304 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The prime years were 1982 and 1983 when no actual US Mint sets were produced.

  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,123 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I haven't had too much trouble with these specific sets.

    Unless there's a premium for intact sets and the coins are all still good I cut up just about everything now days. Even today after the sets have gone up so much most are still worth more as singles than sets.

    I've just seen too many good coins turn bad.

    Tempus fugit.
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Check the individual coins and see if there is a high grade in there.... If not, offer for sale as a set. If no takers, break it up. Cheers, RickO

  • Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,188 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 21, 2023 7:39AM

    Any I might pickup (deal off bourse or estate deal) I cut them out from that packaging, put them in 2x2 for raw collector coin binder pages for retail / shows. Really low value pieces to junk box. Pieces that need a dip go thru that process first.

    Coins & Currency both US and World
  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,123 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There is an interesting variety in this set. it's another of those that might merely be struck by a die with a single hubbing but I like it a lot.

    It's the '85-P quarter. I haven't seen enough to make a meaningful estimate of its incidence but it's most easily spotted by extra distance between the bust and the "E" of "LIBERTY". It accounts for about .5% of general mintage but is fairly scarce because few rolls of this date were saved and it does not appear in the regular mint sets.

    With a mintage around 35,000,000 and 20,000,000 surviving it's hardly scarce but examples above VF are pretty tough.

    Tempus fugit.
  • cmerlo1cmerlo1 Posts: 7,855 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One of the shops I go to buys them for face and cuts them up to put in the register for change.

    You Suck! Awarded 6/2008- 1901-O Micro O Morgan, 8/2008- 1878 VAM-123 Morgan, 9/2022 1888-O VAM-1B3 H8 Morgan | Senior Regional Representative- ANACS Coin Grading. Posted opinions on coins are my own, and are not an official ANACS opinion.
  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 3,963 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 21, 2023 6:41PM

    Yeah, I know they aren’t worth any premium. I view it as I’m building a time capsule to preserve these modern mint set coins for future generations of coin collectors. I have a bunch of mint rolls of almost worthless coins in mason jars with desiccant inside with them for the same reason. I don’t expect their value to go up much, but since no one cares about them there might not be nice examples left in about 100 years or so. My main concern for these mint sets is that they aren’t the regular plastic and I didn’t want the plastic to ruin them.


  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,123 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cmerlo1 said:
    One of the shops I go to buys them for face and cuts them up to put in the register for change.

    Unfortunately this is still one of the biggest causes of attrition in moderns. No matter how scarce a modern is when it gets to the coin shop there is a good chance it will just get tossed in the register. There are many mechanisms for getting moderns into circulation from tarnishing caused by poor storage to simple apathy.

    This wouldn't matter so much if so many of them weren't scarce from the very beginning. Coins weren't set aside in collections or any systematic way. Most still aren't so the attrition on scarce moderns like the sm bust '85-P quarter is nearly as high as on common moderns like MS-62 '72-D quarters.

    Many times I've walked into coin shops and seen the owner cutting up mint sets for the cash register. I always ask if they save any Gems or varieties back and they always say "no". Any date that isn't worth the postage to ship is simply destroyed entirely. My estimates for attrition on mint sets might be very conservative. How many mint sets are we supposed to see in the marketplace with the anemic level of demand? Rather than try to get a handle on this I try to see the relative availability of the various dates and the percentage of sets destroyed when they get on the market.

    Many of these sets have just been decimated by dealers and a general public that "consumes".

    Tempus fugit.

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