The United States Mint Proof Set, also known as just Proof Set, comprises a set of proof coins that are generally sold by the United States Mint. Now, there are many terms in here that require further explanation for those less familiar with the topics, so we’ll keep things simple from the get-go.
Of course, we’re all here as we are interested in the value of the so-called Proof Set coins, but we also must learn a thing or two about them before we can actually discuss the value. So, without further ado, let’s tackle some insight information regarding the 1936 Proof Set, and check out the current market value of the said set. Let’s dive right in!
The United States Mint Proof Set
What Is The Proof Set?
The United States Mint Proof Sets contain special versions or editions of each coin denomination, as well as coin design, that were issued by the very United States Mint. The Sets comprise coins from any given year, for the entire year. These Proof Sets can generally only be sold by the aforementioned US Mint, as they are highly polished metal specimens of coins that were never released into circulation. So, basically, you’re getting coins straight from the Mint.
The Origin Of Proof Sets
The US Mint produced its first Proof Set back in 1936. The reasoning behind this was to create an uncirculated set of coins for collectors, and this is the first time it has been done since 1916. Why, you may ask? Well, back in 1916, the interest in proof Sets was pretty low, so the US Mint had to shut down the entire proof production. But, as better times came (not foreshadowing World War II whatsoever), the US Mint decided the 1936 would be the year proof production would start again.
The early 1936 Proof Set coins had a satin finish. As lovely as this sound, cents, and nickles with such a finish were mainly unpopular and almost never sought-after by collectors. The reason for this lay in the fact that the satin coin finish actually made them resemble any other regular coin; bottom line, there was nothing special about these early Proof Sets, and for something to be a collectible, it needs to stand out.
Therefore, the late 1936 saw an update of the Proof Sets, and this time around the US Mint wasn’t playing any games. The new and updated proof coins, pennies, and nickles featured a striking, mirror-like finish that made them a complete hit among collectors.
Now, as we know, the 1940s came with the outbreak of World War II, and with that the US Mint needed to introduce some necessary changes to their Proof Set project, starting with changing the coin composition.
For example, instead of cupronickel, the US Mint ordered the coins to be made using 35% silver. The 1942 edition of the Proof Set only featured the cupronickel coins, and the proof silver coins were sold separately; these were identified by the P mint mark on the reverse.
Later that year, as the war progressed, the proof coinage was completely discontinued. The US Mint took upon the task of printing millions of military medals for soldiers, so the priorities completely shifted, and understandably so.
Post-War Proof Sets
The War was over, the country was trying its best to get back on track. Proof set coinage was continued in the 1950s, but this time around, the US Mint was no longer selling proof coins individually. In 1964, the Philadelphia Mint stopped producing proof sets, and the following year, a major change was introduced; all the coins were now printed with mint marks, not just the proof ones.
Why, you may ask? Well, there was a coin shortage commencing, and the public blamed coin collectors for this occurrence. To avoid further issues, the US Mint decided to put mint marks on all coins leaving the Mint in circulation. Therefore, no proof sets were produced in those years by the US Mint. Nevertheless, the US Mint continued to issue Proof Sets to this very day, of course with some changes to the composition of the coins or the very design. There are even special Proof Set editions, and projects dedicated specifically to the US Presidents, as well as the American The Beautiful project.
1936 Proof Set Value: How Much Does it Worth Today
Origin and Content
So, following the story of origin, our readers could’ve spotted that the 1936 Proof Set was actually the very first Proof Set to be released after a long break since the 1910s. And, those who connected the dots, would be completely right. The 1936 Proof Set contains five different coins, and three of them have a silver composition. The coins included in the Proof Set are; a penny, nickel, silver dime, silver quarter, and a silver half dollar. To be more specific, the Proof Set features proof examples of the 1936 Walking Liberty Half Dollar, Washington Quarter, Mercury Dime, Buffalo Nickel, and Lincoln Cent. The 1936 Proof Set was coined in Philadelphia in 1936, in the quantity of 3,837 Proof Sets.
Current Value & Most Valuable
When it comes to the current value of the 1936 Proof Set, there are two ways to look at it. Firstly, let’s set some things straight; the value of the Proof Set is definitely higher than its weight in silver. What does this mean? Well, if we were to melt all of the silver coins in the Proof Set, we would get a value of around 14 USD (according to the current silver market value; the current silver spot price is around 23 USD, per ounce). But, the value of the coins themselves within the Set is much higher than that.
The approximate current value of the 1936 Proof Set moves between 705 USD, and reaches the highest of approximately 7,000 USD, according to the completed auctions in the past few years. However, there was one particular auction where the value reached 13,225 USD. This is the highest bid on the 1936 Proof Set so far, and experts believe the price will only go up in the following years, as it gets increasingly more difficult to acquire the Proof Set over time.
The 1936 Proof Set is generally considered to be the very first issue of proof-grade coins in the modern era of the US Proof Coin Sets and the US Mint. Because only 3,837 Proof Sets were released for the year, the Set has become a numismatic scarcity, which is clearly visible in the high auction bids.
And these are guaranteed to get higher over time. The more Proof Sets are sold, the fewer are available for sale, which directly affects the market demand and value. So, if you’re looking to get your hands on a 1936 Proof Set, you should definitely hurry up, while the market value is steady and predictable.