As the 50 State Quarters Program winds down in 2008, coin collectors everywhere have begun snapping up whatever they can in order to complete their collections of these famous collectibles.

While millions of people have been collecting 50 state quarters by pulling the coins out of circulation, others have been buying 50 state quarters proof sets as a means of collecting beautiful examples of the 50 designs the U.S. Mint produced between 1999 and 2008.

**50 State Quarters Proof Sets**

50 state quarters proof sets have remained highly popular for the entire duration of the series.

In fact, by the end of the year 2000 and into 2001, 1999 50 state quarters copper-nickel clad proof sets were demanding prices in the $35 to $60 range — well more than the $13.95 price tag the U.S. Mint charged when they sold the first sets direct to the public.

You see, the 50 State Quarters Program was so popular early on (and has remained so), that far more people than the number of 50 states quarters proof sets available were clamoring for these popular coins.

**Silver Proof Sets**

Silver 50 state quarters proof sets have faired very well.

For example, the 1999 50 state quarters proof sets with silver coins long ago soared into the $300 to $400 range. The 2001 silver set is another expensive year for 50 state quarters collecting.

Clad proof sets demand $35 to $50, and the silver 2001 proof sets often sell for more than $150.

Bear in mind, though, that all silver proof sets made between 1999 and 2003 include both the quarters and the other circulating coinage, so the prices will account not just for the quarters but all the coins found in these sets. However, many dealers are selling the silver quarters portions of these proof sets individually.

While the 1999 and 2001 proof sets remain the sought-after darlings of the entire 50 state quarters proof set run, all the sets enjoy a healthy demand. The 2000 proof sets generally are the lowest-priced right now ($9 to $12 for clad, around $30 for silver), while the other clad sets generally range between $15 to $25 — higher than the Mint’s original asking price, but not out of reach for the vast majority of collectors.

Even the silver sets for other years remain at a briskly elevated but not elusive $35 to $60 each.

The 2008 50 states quarters clad proof sets, as of this writing, are available from the U.S. Mint for $13.95. Dealers and other private individuals are turning these same sets around for $15 to $20.

Meanwhile, the 2008 50 state quarters silver proof set is available directly from the Mint for $25.95.

You can view the U.S. Mint catalog online.

**Will 50 State Quarters Proof Sets** **Rise Or Fall In Value?**

Will 50 state quarters proof sets ever fall in value or rise any further? There is no definite answer for this question, as the coin market is highly volatile anyway.

In my observation of 50 state quarters prices over the past couple years, it seems that values may have stabilized, at least for now.

If these prices remain where they are, rise or fall is based largely on massive-scale collector interest in the series. Modern U.S. proof sets, for the most part, have never been viewed by the mainstream coin collecting community as the best way to make lots of money for your investment, at least not in the short run.

However, the 50 state quarters series has been widely called the most popular and successful coin design program in modern U.S. Mint history. That may yield strong results for the investment potential of 50 states quarters proof sets — both now and down the road.

At any rate, while you should use caution in buying 50 state quarters proof sets for investment purposes (I would never advise anyone on "sure" investments because there truly are none in the world of coin investing), I would strongly opine that a complete collection of 50 state quarters proof sets — silver or copper-nickel clad — makes for an absolutely stunning display of beautiful designs that will no question be counted among the collector’s favorite for years to come.