1950-1964 Proof SetsOne of the most popular and enduring products of the United States Mint is the annual proof set. In its traditional format, each set contains an example of each coin released for circulation produced in high quality proof format. The 1950-1964 Proof Sets were issued during a period of rapid growth in the popularity of coin collecting.
The 1950 Proof Set represented the return of proof coinage offerings after a hiatus of seven years. The US Mint would offer complete sets containing the Franklin Half Dollar, Washington Quarter, Roosevelt Dime, Jefferson Nickel, and Lincoln Cent struck in proof quality at the Philadelphia Mint. The sets were originally packaged in cellophane sleeves placed within a cardboard box. For this year, the total mintage reached 51,386.
In the following years, mintage levels would rise as the popularity of the offering increased. This leads to greater desirability for the proof coins from earliest in the run.
The 1955 Proof Set was the first to be packaged in a flat pack. Each coin was sealed within a separate compartment of a single cellophane pack. This was placed within an envelope between protective cardboard. This new style allowed greater production to take place in the following years. By the time the 1964 Proof Set was issued, the mintage had reached nearly 4 million.
Proof sets from this era include 90% silver half dollars, quarters, and dimes. Even for high mintage years, the silver content provides a stable value for the sets. Many collectors will seek out proof coinage of this era which displays cameo or deep cameo contrast. This can be exceedingly rare for certain years and command significant premiums.