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See Why Uncirculated Mint Sets Are Worth Collecting + Fun Ways To Collect Them

Uncirculated mint sets are among my favorite coin sets to collect.

I’m a hobbyist who enjoys modern coins and ephemera (printed collectible memorabilia that was designed for short-term use) — so it makes sense that I enjoy collecting U.S. mint sets, which comprise collectible coins and the envelopes, internal packaging, and (sometimes) paperwork that accompany them.

Uncirculated coin sets have been issued by the United States Mint since 1947 and have been offered almost every year since then — with a few exceptions.

U.S. mint sets have certainly been around a long time, and many are very difficult to find and quite valuable. It’s especially challenging to locate uncirculated mint sets from the late 1940s through early 1960s that are still totally intact and have no post-Mint writing on the envelopes or other packaging materials.

Find an old mint set with all of the coins intact and in pristine, original packaging, and you’ve found a real treasure!

The more recent U.S. mint sets are much more common and quite affordable.

I’m going to share with you what uncirculated mint sets are worth, plus my personal tips and strategies for building a really cool mint set collection…

What Are Mint Uncirculated Coin Sets Worth?

Finding the value of a mint set involves at least the following:

#1 – Determining if what you have is really a government-issued mint set or simply some set of loose uncirculated coins that were cobbled together by a private individual who put the coins in an aftermarket holder,


#2 – Making sure all of the government packaging is included with your set — such as an original (not aftermarket) outer envelope, packing cards (which came with sets issued between 1959 and 1981), and coin specification sheets or certificates of authenticity, as issued since 1984.

Assuming you have real uncirculated mint sets and not simply random sets of loose uncirculated coins that were put together by a private individual who put the coins in holders, you’ll need to make sure that all of the packaging is intact.

If your set doesn’t include all of its packaging, it won’t be worth the mint set values listed below.

Here are mint set values — starting with the first U.S. mint set in 1947 up to the current year:

U.S. Mint Set Values

*The 1976 3-Piece Uncirculated Set contains 40% silver versions of the 1776-1976 Bicentennial quarter, half dollar, and dollar coin.

Fun Ways To Collect Uncirculated Mint Sets

Collecting uncirculated mint sets is something many coin collectors like to do — because it allows you to pick up mint-state examples of all (or at least most) the regularly circulating coins that the United States Mint makes each year.

Here are some creative ideas on how to build a mint set coin collection:

  • U.S. Mint Sets By Decade – Have a favorite decade? Maybe the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s? You’ll find this both an inexpensive and exciting way to collect mint coin sets.
  • A Lifetime Collection of U.S. Mint Sets – Try collecting one mint set from every year of your life! This is not only an amazing way of keeping some gem-quality coins from every year you’ve been on this earth, it’s also a wonderful way to start an ongoing coin collection you can maintain forever. Just don’t forget to keep buying mint coin sets each year from the U.S. Mint as they come out.
  • Sentimental Value U.S. Mint Sets – Many people like collecting mint sets based on years that are personally special. Having a mint set from the year you were born, the year your child was born, or the year you were married or met that special someone is a perfectly poignant way of collecting mint coin sets.
  • Every U.S. Mint Set Made – This is an expensive collecting objective and definitely the most challenging. Collecting every mint set made since 1947 costs many thousands of dollars, but if you accomplish this goal you’d be one of the few collectors around with such an expansive collection of uncirculated sets!
  • U.S. Mint Sets Made Since 1959 – Can’t quite foot the bill to collect every mint set packaged since 1947? Then you could do the next best thing: build a collection of mint coin sets since 1959, the year the United States Mint began packaging these neat coin sets in plastic holders instead of cardboard panels as was done from 1947 through 1958.
  • U.S. Mint Sets Packaged Since 1968 – After the United States Mint made Special Mint Sets from 1965 through 1967, the Mint returned to offering the traditional mint coin sets that had been made before. Mint coin sets produced since 1968 include coins from the Philadelphia and Denver Mints and occasionally the San Francisco and even West Point Mints, too.
  • U.S. Mint Sets Since 1984 – After a 2-year hiatus in 1982 and 1983, the United States Mint resumed making mint coin sets in 1984. Beginning in 1984, uncirculated coin sets have been sold with full-color packaging and are in this way visually distinctive from mint sets made from 1947 through 1981.
  • U.S. Mint Sets Made Since 1999 – If you want some real variety with your mint coin sets, you might try collecting those sold since 1999, the first year of the 50 States Quarters program. Since 1999, the United States Mint has also issued other exciting coin programs, including the Westward Journey Nickels, America The Beautiful Quarters, Presidential $1 Coins, and Native American Dollars – all coins that are included in mint sets packaged since 1999!

What Are Special Mint Sets & Souvenir Sets?

You may have noticed in the list of uncirculated mint set values above 2 unusual types of coin sets:

  • Special Mint Sets – Packages of proof-like coins that were struck from 1965 through 1967, when the United States Mint abstained from using mintmarks on coins to help ease a nationwide coin shortage. These are usually shorthanded to simply SMS.
  • Souvenir Sets – Sets of coins made at only one mint (either Philadelphia or Denver). These sets include a special medal showing an image of the mint that struck the coins in the set and were sold only at that mint’s gift shops. Souvenir Sets were made from 1972 through 1998.

Special Mint Sets are relatively common, and while they look something like a typical mint set from the 1960s, they include only 5 coins – one penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar.

The coins in a Special Mint Set have better surface quality and better details because they were struck by higher-tonnage coin presses, but they aren’t really proofs because they weren’t made to the same standards as proof coinage. Still, SMS coins are beautiful, especially the many coins from 1966 and most made in 1967, which are about as close as one can get to getting a proof coin from these years without actually having one.

Since Special Mint Sets were made for only 3 years, it’s difficult to really specialize in collecting only these particular U.S. Mint products. Often Special Mint Sets are collected alongside the regular mint sets.

Souvenir Sets, on the other hand, are much scarcer than Special Mint Sets. In many cases, only a few thousand examples of any one Souvenir Set were ever actually sold. This makes several Souvenir Sets – especially those made in the 1990s – very scarce today. Souvenir Sets are sometimes collected alongside mint sets, though in reality very few collectors really pay much attention to these unusual uncirculated coin sets.

However, since they were the only official government-issued sets produced during the mint set moratorium of 1982 and 1983, many collectors will pursue Souvenir Sets from those 2 years.

1982 and 1983 Souvenir Sets are scarce and in high demand – they often sell for $30 to $50 apiece (or many times over their original $4 issue price). Aside from tracking down original rolls of 1982 and 1983 coins, buying Souvenir Sets is the only way to acquire uncirculated specimens of coins from those years in government packaging. No wonder 1982 and 1983 uncirculated coins are rare!

More Info About Uncirculated Mint Sets

In addition to the links and information I’ve included above, here are some of our other articles about mint coin sets that you will find helpful: