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United States Coin Proof Sets

Proof coins were originally minted specifically to check the dies before regular production began as a prototype for quality assurance. Beginning in the 1850s, proofs were allowed to be ordered directly from the mint, as their special frosted look and higher relief qualities were popular with collectors. Before this, proofs existed only internally at the mint, although some copies exist because they were either given away as presentation pieces to dignitaries or stolen from the mint.

These proof coins were eventually put into sets, which consisted of one proof copy of each coin minted that year. The first U.S. proof set was created in 1936. It consisted of the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar. Proof sets included the dollar from 1973 to 1981, and then again in 2000 with the introduction of the Sacajawea dollar.

Collecting U.S. coin proof sets has become especially popular in recent years due to the State Quarters program. The 1999 to 2008 proof set runs contain all five of each year's state quarters in proof as well as the remaining circulating coinage. As the U.S. Mint has created more unique and commemorative coinage, proof sets have retained their desirability. Proof sets are affordable for burgeoning young coin collectors, allowing them to obtain complete high-quality sets of a specific series of coins.


Quick Facts

  • Despite their origins in quality testing, proof sets are not entirely without their own rarities and flaws. Several have missing, malformed, or misshapen mint marks
  • An original 1936 proof set in PR65 condition sold in 2010 for just over $13,000
  • Proof sets are also sold in silver. While normal proof sets consist of the same base metals used for circulating coinage, silver proof sets use rarer materials, creating a gorgeous product reminiscent of when all coins were made that way

Recommended Items at Auction

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Franklin Mint Sterling Silver Great Sailing Ships Of History First Edition Proof Set
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Franklin Mint Sterling Silver Great Sailing Ships Of History First Edition Proof Set
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$1,55013 Bids
KEY DATE 1999-S US Mint Silver Proof Set, OGP w/COA
Mar 05, 5:00 PM EST
KEY DATE 1999-S US Mint Silver Proof Set, OGP w/COA
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$2011 Bids
A Septet of All Different Date U.S. Silver Proof Sets
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
A Septet of All Different Date U.S. Silver Proof Sets
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$1207 Bids
1979-S Proof Set
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1979-S Proof Set
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$136 Bids
(36) Incomplete U.S. Proof Sets
Mar 09, 10:00 AM MST
(36) Incomplete U.S. Proof Sets
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$506 Bids
Silver Proof Kennedy Halves - 5 Coins Set
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
Silver Proof Kennedy Halves - 5 Coins Set
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$345 Bids
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2005 AMERICAN EAGLE 4-COIN GOLD PROOF SET
Mar 07, 5:00 PM EST
2005 AMERICAN EAGLE 4-COIN GOLD PROOF SET
by Leighton Galleries
Est: $3,000- $3,500
$2,1004 Bids
1996 Olympic Coins of Atlanta Games - 2 Coin Silver Proof Set - OGP - Tennis & Wheelchair Athlete
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1996 Olympic Coins of Atlanta Games - 2 Coin Silver Proof Set - OGP - Tennis & Wheelchair Athlete
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$424 Bids
1961 Proof Set in Capital Holder - Beautiful
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1961 Proof Set in Capital Holder - Beautiful
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$104 Bids
2004-S Proof Set OGP
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
2004-S Proof Set OGP
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$124 Bids
2010-S U.S. Mint Proof Set
Mar 05, 5:00 PM EST
2010-S U.S. Mint Proof Set
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$74 Bids
1981-S Proof Set OGP
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1981-S Proof Set OGP
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$84 Bids
1971-1973, 1989, 1993-1996 US PROOF SETS
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
1971-1973, 1989, 1993-1996 US PROOF SETS
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $90- $130
$274 Bids
1994 Veterans 3 Coin Proof Set - OGP
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1994 Veterans 3 Coin Proof Set - OGP
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$94 Bids
Original 1958 U.S. Proof Coin Set
Mar 21, 6:00 PM EDT
Original 1958 U.S. Proof Coin Set
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$203 Bids
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2007 AMERICAN EAGLE 4-COIN GOLD PROOF SET
Mar 07, 5:00 PM EST
2007 AMERICAN EAGLE 4-COIN GOLD PROOF SET
by Leighton Galleries
Est: $3,000- $3,500
$1,8003 Bids
1991-S Mount Rushmore Proof 2 Coin Set
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1991-S Mount Rushmore Proof 2 Coin Set
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$283 Bids
2002-S Proof Set OGP
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
2002-S Proof Set OGP
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$83 Bids
1996-S Proof Bank Set
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1996-S Proof Bank Set
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$43 Bids
1999-S Proof Set OGP
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1999-S Proof Set OGP
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$43 Bids
1995-S Civil War Battlefield 2-Coin Proof Set - OGP
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1995-S Civil War Battlefield 2-Coin Proof Set - OGP
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$303 Bids
1985-S Proof Set OGP
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1985-S Proof Set OGP
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$83 Bids
1988-S Proof Set OGP
Mar 04, 5:00 PM EST
1988-S Proof Set OGP
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$93 Bids
U.S. MINT PRESTIGE AND PROOF SET COIN LOT
Mar 06, 9:00 AM EST
U.S. MINT PRESTIGE AND PROOF SET COIN LOT
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $150- $250
$1003 Bids

Sellers Who Sell United States Coin Proof Sets


Key Date Coins

Key Date Coins

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

BK Auctions

BK Auctions

Silver City Auctions

Silver City Auctions