Produced by the U.S. Mint for sale to coin collectors, mint sets are packages that typically include one example of each type of coin of all currently used mint marks issued by the Mint in a given year.
Following is more information about the coins in mint sets of the 1970s...
The First U.S. Mint Sets
Mint sets were first produced by the U.S. Mint in 1947 and began a tradition of annual production ever since.
That is, except for a few periods of hiatus, such as:
Special mint sets were issued in place of the traditional duo of proof sets and regular mint sets.
Special mint set coins generally have proof-like surfaces and are of higher quality than typical mint set coins but not nearly as brilliant as regular proof coins.
Little-Known Facts About Mint Sets Of The 1970s
The 1970s were a colorful time for U.S. mint sets.
The first mint set of the 1970s still included regular-issue silver coins. The last 1970s mint set offered the first of the very unpopular Susan B. Anthony dollars.
In between, Bicentennial coins, S-mint coins, and the large Eisenhower dollars all had their day in the in 1970s mint sets.
The Coins In The 1970 Mint Set
The 1970 mint set is probably one of the most popular 1970s mint sets on the market. Why? Because it includes the scarce, mint-set-issue-only 1970D Kennedy half dollar.
This is the only half-dollar to be minted in 1970. It also holds the distinction of being the last regular-issue silver coin struck in the United States. In 1971, the half-dollar followed the path of the dime and quarter, which in 1965 were first struck from a copper-nickel clad composition.
Also in 1970, some mint sets included the scarce "small date" 1970-S Lincoln cent. These sets are very much sought after and always demand a solid premium over the regular 1970 mint sets.
About The Coins In Mint Sets 1971-1979
1971 mint sets are the first to include dimes, quarters, and half-dollars in copper-nickel, but the 1971 set does have one unfortunate omission. It does not include the first-year issues of the Eisenhower dollar. Nor did the 1972 sets. It was not until 1973 when mint sets included the Eisenhower dollar.
1973 mint sets were the only place that "regular-issue" Eisenhower dollars were released to the public that year. The warning here is that 1973 dollars can be found only in mint sets.
Also in 1973, the U.S. mint set packaging was changed slightly. New, large white envelopes were used to house the mint sets, and the white plastic mint tokens included in the cellophane packages of earlier years were no longer included. This was to make way for the inclusion of the dollar coins in the packages.
The 1974 mint sets hold no particular distinction. The 1975 mint sets were the first to include the popular Bicentennial designs on the quarter, half-dollar, and dollar.
Also in 1975, the U.S. Mint first released special 3-piece mint sets that include 40% silver versions of the Bicentennial coins.
1976 mint sets also include the Bicentennial coins, along with 1976-dated cents, nickels, and dimes.
In 1977, the regular-design quarters, half-dollars, and dollars resumed. The following year was the last for the Eisenhower dollar.
In 1979, the U.S. Mint closed out the decade with the release of the short-lived Susan B. Anthony dollar. While the 1979 sets include Philadelphia and Denver examples of the Susan B. Anthony dollar, there is no San Francisco example of the dollar coin in the 1979 set.
1970s Mint Sets: Mintages & Values
Below is a run down of the production figures for the 1970s mint sets as well, as common prices one can currently expect to pay for the 1970s mint sets. Bear in mind, the mintage numbers below refer to how many sets were either produced or sold, not how many currently exist.
Mint sets are always being broken up by coin collectors in order to obtain certain pieces. So the figures below are absolutely higher than the surviving population of mint sets today.
Prices below are approximate. Better-quality sets may demand premiums. Sets with toned or spotted coins will sell for less.
- 1970 (2,038,134) $17 to $20
- 1970 Small Date (mintage included above) $60 to $65
- 1971 (2,193,396) $4 to $7
- 1972 (2,750,000) $4 to $7
- 1973 (1,767,691) $17 to $20
- 1974 (1,975,981) $5 to $8
- 1975 (1,921,488) $7 to $10
- 1976 Regular Set (1,892,513) $7 to $10
- 1976 40% Silver Set (4,908,319) $15 to $20
- 1977 (2,006,869) $8 to $10
- 1978 (2,162,609) $6 to $8
- 1979 (2,526,000) $5 to $7
Where To Find 1970s Mint Sets
Because the U.S. Mint sells only current mint sets, you will have to buy any older mint sets elsewhere. Mint sets are very common collectors items and can be found at most coin dealers.
More About Mint Sets
My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I'm a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I'm also the editor at CDN Publishing (a trusted source for the price of U.S. rare coins), editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I've contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I've also authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins — and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!