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Who buys U.S. annual proof sets...and why?

jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,826 ✭✭✭✭✭

400,000 sets are sold annually, down from over a million only a few years ago. How many "set collectors are there"? How many individual "coin series" collectors are there? And how many end up in hyped up collections sold on TV, the Internet and mail order?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Comments

  • TommyTypeTommyType Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bought the "States Quarters" proof sets from inception through about 2007....then lost interest.

    It SEEMED like a good idea. I was as interested as anyone in what each of the designs looked like, and with the proof sets, I would have "perfect examples" of each one.

    But the designs turned out less than interesting over time.....I got sidetracked by other interests....so I have a 1/2(?) completed set. (And I don't really care. ;) )

    I guess in some ways, my reasoning might be better than someone who buys coins of the SAME DESIGN year after year....but only slightly.

    Easily distracted Type Collector
  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,826 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TommyType said:
    I bought the "States Quarters" proof sets from inception through about 2007....then lost interest.

    It SEEMED like a good idea. I was as interested as anyone in what each of the designs looked like, and with the proof sets, I would have "perfect examples" of each one.

    But the designs turned out less than interesting over time.....I got sidetracked by other interests....so I have a 1/2(?) completed set. (And I don't really care. ;) )

    I guess in some ways, my reasoning might be better than someone who buys coins of the SAME DESIGN year after year....but only slightly.

    Well, that explains why we're down from over a million. LOL.

    But who STILL buys them?

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,932 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Many collectors still want an example of each year's coinage. What is different is that the speculative buying of the sets has dropped off due to their poor performance as "investments". The current levels are probably reflective of true collector interest, though many of those collectors only buy products from the US Mint and don't involve themselves in the wider coin market.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • element159element159 Posts: 493 ✭✭✭

    I still buy the state quarter proof sets, like TommyType I liked that way of getting each of the designs. I do have a single proof set of the other denominations, but I have no interest in getting the same design year after year.

    image
  • GluggoGluggo Posts: 3,566 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 26, 2017 1:53PM

    I just started buying the Proof sets not sure why I just did. I did buy some quarter sets I saw them on HSN I feel rich listening to Mike! But then I went on Ebay and found some about 1/2 the price. Now they sit in a tool box stuck in the corner not sure why but I did. Also going to buy on October 5th and 19th my Maximum allowable on that day. Not sure why just going to now I cant seem to stop. I need help! Serious! Next month I get a check from Alaska cause I live here going to spend all of it on coins! I don't know why but its free money so why not? Like I said I NEED HELP!!!!! I have all sorts of sales people calling me don't know why other that they want my money. Once in a while I say yes but most of the time I say No.

  • TreashuntTreashunt Posts: 6,747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    nope, not going to buy.
    never did.

    Frank

    BHNC #203

  • CascadeChrisCascadeChris Posts: 2,516 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Grandmas, lots of grandmas.

    The more you VAM..
  • ECHOESECHOES Posts: 2,974 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I do, two per year.
    I luv'em.

    ~HABE FIDUCIAM IN DOMINO III V VI / III XVI~
    POST NUBILA PHOEBUS / AFTER CLOUDS, SUN
    Love for Music / Collector of Dreck
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CascadeChris said:
    Grandmas, lots of grandmas.

    I resemble that remark. B)

    I buy a silver set every year. It's an easy way to have coins from each year that I have been a collector without having to keep a bunch of albums or sets. Sometimes it's fun to get them out an think of what was going on in my life the year those coins were issued.

    I used to collect both the clad and silver sets, but I got tired of losing money on the clad sets. So the silver sets is all I buy these days.

    And just for the record Eliasberg kept up with the modern Proof sets when he was a collector. They were included in one of the auctions of his collection.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • @CascadeChris said:
    Grandmas, lots of grandmas.

    Maybe it's not what you meant by that, but there's actually probably a large demographic due to them being given as gifts to newborns as a marker for their birth year.

  • Batman23Batman23 Posts: 4,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Like TommyType, I used to. So another post as to why your under half a million...

    In the late 2000s after having prestige sets, mint sets, proof sets, quarter sets, silver sets, special finish that was not normal business strike. Just too much stuff. Took up too much space. I thought that this wss ridiculous and sold them. I have not regretted it yet.

  • BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 7,406 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bought them for awhile through the 1990's. Got real upset with the packaging on some sets. Some of the coins "turned" in the sets, especially on the edges. Long term storage??????????

    HMM

    Pete

    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon
  • goldengolden Posts: 9,040 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have not bought any in decades.

  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 13,772 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The last one that I bought was probably around 1976 :smile:

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN, gene1978, TJM965, Smittys, GRANDAM, JTHawaii, mainejoe, softparade, derryb

    Bad transactions with : nobody to date

  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 14,803 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Because you gotta get SOMETHING for grandkids who you don't know the first thing about. :D

  • tommy44tommy44 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Back in the 60s at $2.10 each how could you go wrong. Today, that's another story. I quit around the mid 70s and started again with the state quarters quitting again in 2007. Ended up selling left over 1999 through 2007 sets for a tax loss.

    it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide

  • OPAOPA Posts: 17,104 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I buy the silver state quarter (ATB) proof sets. I even have a nice display case that will house each coin in a capsule. The ATB's are the only US coins that I still collect and I have no complaints.

    "Bongo drive 1984 Lincoln that looks like old coin dug from ground."
  • TheRavenTheRaven Posts: 4,143 ✭✭✭✭

    I get a clad proof set, silver proof set and uncirculated coin set each year.

    Been a simple Christmas present i get ever year for over a decade now.

    Are they worth what they cost, probably not. But they are in my collection and I enjoy pulling them out looking at them.

    Collection under construction: VG Barber Quarters & Halves
  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,831 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's a hobby which hurts multitudes. Except for those who receive what those multitudes pass on. They soon realize it isn't worth as much as was paid. That's why it's a good hobby. And treasures abound in the thick of them. I usually get something to help another, without hurting them. The costs are staggering. That's why we drink. To kill pain.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I used to get the mint, proof and silver sets.... I stopped around 2008 or 2009... they all sit in a box that I have not opened in years. In a flash of brilliance one day (actually, common sense suddenly got through), I realized that they were much like cars and value decreased with time. So have not purchased any since then. Cheers, RickO

  • pmacpmac Posts: 3,189 ✭✭✭

    I often get caught up in the hype here that often occurs when the mint has an unusual offering. There's one person here where I work who faithfully buys one every year and that's the extent of his collecting. I wonder how many others are in this group?

    Paul
  • FullStrikeFullStrike Posts: 4,353 ✭✭✭

    @TommyType said:
    I bought the "States Quarters" proof sets from inception through about 2007....then lost interest.

    It SEEMED like a good idea. I was as interested as anyone in what each of the designs looked like, and with the proof sets, I would have "perfect examples" of each one.

    But the designs turned out less than interesting over time.....I got sidetracked by other interests....so I have a 1/2(?) completed set. (And I don't really care. ;) )

    I guess in some ways, my reasoning might be better than someone who buys coins of the SAME DESIGN year after year....but only slightly.

    You Sir, might be onto something. .. but what it is... I'm not sure.

  • DBSTrader2DBSTrader2 Posts: 3,447 ✭✭✭✭

    My grandparents & then parents bought me a SMS or proof set each year since a year or 2 after I was born. That fell by the wayside after a while. When my boys were born, my Dad & Mom said they'd like to continue the tradition with them, and bought each a set the first year or two. Then that kind of fell by the wayside as well. Many years later, I went back & filled in their missing sets (as well as most of mine) & continued to buy each one a clad set each year. Nice to look at, all shiny & stuff, but not much use for them otherwise, nor did they hold their value for the most part from the inflated Mint issue prices. It was getting out of control. I finally asked myself what I was doing and stopped purchasing them several years ago, telling myself I should have just bought silver (ASE's?) instead all that time. I don't miss them, and the ones we have are packed away somewhere & haven't seen the light of day in ages. The only thing I would still buy at some point might be that missing set from MY birth year........

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