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When you think about scarce coins, you probably conjure up images of coins from many decades, even centuries ago.
So it would likely surprise you to learn that many of the most popular “scarce” coins are from the 20th century. In fact, some scarce 20th-century coins were struck as recently as the 1980s!
Now before you read on, keep in mind that the scarce coins mentioned in this article — which date from 1982 and 1983 — are those which are “uncirculated.”
That is, in general, whatever 1982 or 1983 coins you find (without errors) in your pocket change will not really be considered scarce — because the scarcity and value of these 1982 and 1983 coins are due to grade, not solely the number of coins made that year.
Why Are 1982 And 1983 Uncirculated Coins So Scarce?
It’s really very simple:
- In 1982 and 1983, the U.S. Mint did not officially produce mint sets. (Mint sets contain uncirculated coins and are the usual source for mint-quality examples of modern coins.)
- Another issue confronting the collector of uncirculated 1982 and 1983 coins is the relative lack of original uncirculated coins.
With relatively few original rolls of 1982 and 1983 coins available, no 1982 or 1983 mint sets assembled, and so many collectors trying to get ahold of these coins… prices have been driven upwards!
How Much Are 1982 And 1983 Coins Worth?
1982 and 1983 pennies are not worth significantly more than other Lincoln cents of the era.
However, 1982 and 1983 Jefferson nickels, Roosevelt dimes, Washington quarters, and Kennedy half dollars are worth considerably higher prices than similar coins of the same era!
Also, it is important to note that mintage numbers for 1982 and 1983 coins are generally similar to other coins of the era.
This further helps to explain that any “scarceness” for 1982 and 1983 coins is primarily for uncirculated versions of these coins — which exist in relatively far lower numbers than uncirculated coins of other years. Circulated versions of 1982 and 1983 coins are usually worth only face value, with a few exceptions.
Most U.S. uncirculated coins of the 1980s are worth $1 to $2 apiece — so while the coins below are not worth hundreds of dollars each, you will see that they are worth significantly more than most other uncirculated coins of the modern era.
|1982-P Jefferson Nickel: $5 to $7||1982-D Jefferson Nickel: $2 to $3|
|1983-P Jefferson Nickel: $2.50 to $3.50||1983-D Jefferson Nickel: $1.50 to $2|
|1982-P Roosevelt Dime: $5 to $7||1982-D Roosevelt Dime: $1.50 to $2.50|
|1983-P Roosevelt Dime: $5 to $7||1983-D Roosevelt Dime: $1 to $2|
|1982-P Washington Quarter: $8 to $10*||1982-D Washington Quarter: $2.50 to $3.50*|
|1983-P Washington Quarter: $28 to $33*||1983-D Washington Quarter: $12 to $15*|
|1982-P Kennedy Half Dollar: $6 to $8||1982-D Kennedy Half Dollar: $6 to $8|
|1983-P Kennedy Half Dollar: $6 to $8||1983-D Kennedy Half Dollar: $6 to $8|
Private 1982 And 1983 Uncirculated Sets
While no official U.S. mint sets were made in 1982 or 1983, there are packages of 1982 and 1983 uncirculated coins which can be found on the market.
For years now, privately assembled 1982 and 1983 uncirculated coin sets have been available. These sets look somewhat like regular U.S. mint sets — however, they are packaged by private companies.
These privately minted 1982 and 1983 uncirculated coin sets are comprised of individual 1982 and 1983 uncirculated coins which have been assembled together to form a complete set of 10 1982 or 1983 coins — one cent, nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar from the Philadelphia mint and one of each denomination from the Denver mint.
Ebay and some coin dealers sell these privately assembled mint sets.
On a related note… Mint Sets of the 1980s have interesting variety as well!
1982 and 1983 Souvenir Sets
The bottom line is the U.S. Mint’s souvenir set is the only way to collect official 1982 & 1983 uncirculated coin sets.
Souvenir sets are so named because they were sold by the Philadelphia and Denver mints to people who took tours of the minting facilities — and they later stopped by the mint gift shop to take home examples of the coins they saw being made.
Souvenir sets come with a bronze medal and include just one coin from each denomination. Philadelphia souvenir sets include just Philadelphia coins and Denver souvenir sets include only coins from the Colorado facility. The best place to find 1982 and 1983 souvenir sets is on eBay.
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. 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 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 authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!