Ed. note: This article is periodically updated to reflect the current price of most valuable coins.
Coleccionistasdemonedas.com has rated as the most valuable U.S. proof sets:
|#||Year||Value||Lesser Grade||Higher Grade|
|1||1936 Proof Set||$ 35,250||PR66+||PR67|
|2||1939 Proof Set||$ 10,800||PR65||PR68+|
|3||1937 Proof Set||$ 10,200||PR65||PR68|
|4||1990 Proof Set no “S” cent||$ 8,265||—-||—-|
|5||1968 Proof Set no “S” Roosevelt Dime||$ 6,325||PR66||PR66|
Although U.S. proof sets were first produced by the U.S. Mint in the 19th century, it was not until 1936 when proof sets as we know them began to be sold and targeted to the public. And they continue to be produced to this day.
They include a proof quality sample of each monetary value minted that year with denominations from 1 cent to a half dollar. Some proof sets also include the value of 1 dollar when this value has been part of that year’s production.
- If we are looking for values belonging to the proof sets of the early years, it is best to try to get them in their original cellophane packaging, as they are very scarce.
- Among the variants of the proof sets, the most valuable are those with some values without the San Francisco mint mark (S), and from 1968 onwards.
- Check all the coins are uncirculated, without signs of use, handling without gloves, or opening the case. Thus providing added value to the proof set.
- It is always best to buy or sell the proof sets as completely as possible, with all the values, original packaging, original documents, and the certificate of authenticity (COA).
- If any of the values of the proof set are found separately, it will always be more valuable if the half-dollar denomination is of a higher grade (PR68-PR68+).
JUMP TO SECTION
The origin of these proof sets lies in the demand of coin collectors to have a proof sample of all the monetary values that were going to be put into circulation that same year.
Normally, between 1936 and 1951, proof sets were not sold completely in their case as we know them today, but each value was presented and sold separately, in a somewhat precarious presentation.
In these early years, the values were preserved in cellophane paper as a unit, and each value was stapled in cardboard as a presentation. That is why it is common to find pieces from the early years with traces of adhesive, plastic, or paper stuck to them.
Due to certain factors, finding these early years’ values in their original packaging is becoming increasingly challenging. The passage of time causes the original presentation package to wear out, separating the set for a deal that interests a coin collector, sending the pieces to a TGP company for grading, etc.
Here we show an example of the 1936 proof set with its six values, from 1 cent to half a dollar, encapsulated as a set by NGC in preservations ranging from PR64 to PR67 in packaging made for the occasion by NGC:
Until 1968 the proof set coins were minted in Philadelphia, but in that year, production was moved to the San Francisco mint, easily recognizable by the appearance of the “S” mint mark on the coins.
Some proof sets are in high demand and have valuations well above the average price of the standard proof set. For example, we have very scarce proof sets, such as 1936, others made without the San Francisco mint mark or certain silver proof sets.
How much are U.S. Mint proof sets worth?
Let’s see which are the five proof sets that have had the highest value in the market in the last years:
#1 1936 Proof Set – $ 35,250
We begin our proof sets list with 1936, the first year that U.S. Mint struck proof sets. Despite being the most frequent year in auction houses and sales, it is also the most valued by collectors.
The highest price ever paid for a 1936 proof set was reached in April 2015 in a lot of 5 values encapsulated separately by NGC and graded between PR66+ and PR67. The final price was $35,250.
According to the auction house, the coins of this valuable and rare proof set had all remained together.
Another 1936 proof set was auctioned in January 2017 at $17,625. The five values were also graded by NGC individually between PR66 (4 of the five values) and PR68 for the nickel.
Also, NGC individually graded another lot of 1936 proof set in April 2012 that sold for $14,950 with grades between PR65 and PR67.
In this ranking of auctions of 1936, proof sets the first one graded by PCGS that we found is the one auctioned in January 2004 that sold for $13,800 with the five individually graded values between PR65 and PR66 (Source).
We continue with the NGC gradings for a 1936 proof set sold for $13,225 in 2010 with gradings of the five values between PR65 and PR67.
In November 2014, HA lot number 4237, graded by NGC in the individual long 5-value case with gradations from PR64 to PR67, was auctioned for $9,987.50. As a curiosity, it is rare to see at auction this type of long encapsulation with all five values together and graduations on the label.
We have left out showing more values of the 1936 proof set so as not to make the information repetitive, as this is a very common proof set in sales and auctions.
We will only say that this is a proof set that continues to appear in auctions at lower prices than those shown above, depending on the grades received for the group of its five values: PR67, PR66, PR65,…
#2 1939 Proof Set – $10,800
According to PCGS, the 1939 proof set is valued at $1,300, but in July of 2022, Heritage sold one for $10,800. This price gives us a good idea of the current valuations and demand for early proof sets.
These are the five values graded by NGC in individual capsules, with correlative numbers and grades between PR65 and PR68+ (this final grade corresponds to the half dollar).
#3 1937 Proof Set – $10,200
The second date of presentation of the proof sets is also highly sought after and in demand. Recently in October 2021, a 1937 proof set of 5 individually graded values by PCGS between PR65 and PR68 went for $10,200 (Source).
In September 2015, a 1937 proof set with NGC gradations somewhat lower than the previous example (between PR66 and PR67) fetched $8,225.
#4 1990 Proof Set no “S” cent – $8,265
Several things strike us about this set sold for $8,265 in November 2004. It is the original set, so all five values are together and UNCERTIFIED. However, the auction house indeed gives the 1 cent denomination a PR69 Red Depp Cameo, being the star of the set as it is the 1 cent without the San Francisco “S” mint mark, and the rest of the values PR69 Deep Cameo.
The key to the valuation of this set is the 1C without mintmark. The reason is that the 1990-S proof set with the mintmarks values has a much lower valuation: it can be obtained for $20.
It appears that the Philadelphia mint, who made the dies for the San Francisco mint, forgot to include the mintmark “S” punch on the obverse of the 1C value. Subsequently, the Mint produced 3,500 units of the 1C with this error. How many of them ended up in the 1990 proof set is still being determined (Source).
#5 1968 Proof Set no “S” Roosevelt Dime – $6,325
1968 was the first year that the San Francisco Mint made proof sets, always with dies manufactured at the Philadelphia mint.
In October 2001, this rare 1968 proof set was auctioned with the famous Roosevelt Dime error without the hard-to-find San Francisco “S” mint mark. All five values were graded PR66 and priced at $6,325.
List of Proof sets by year
As you can see in this list, the value of the proof set depends on the year of issue and its state of preservation. Although most of them are less than 200 dollars, other series much more sought after by collectors reach much higher prices.
|Date||Variety||Mintage (units)||Perfect Condition Value (PR65)|
|1942 P||6 Coins – Both Nickels||21,120||1,655|
|1942 P||5 Coins – One Nickel||N/A||1,459|
|1955 P||Flat Pack||N/A||140|
|1960 P||Large Date on Cent||1,691,602||36|
|1960 P||Small Date on Cent||N/A||42|
|1968 S||No S Mint Mark on Dime||N/A||18,331|
|1970 S||Small Date on Cent||N/A||94|
|1970 S||No Mint Mark on Dime||2,200||1,028|
|1971 S||No Mint Mark on Nickel||1,655||1,593|
|1975 S||With 1976 Quarter Half and Dollar||2,845,450||11|
|1975 S||No Mint Mark on Dime||N/A||309,316|
|1976 S||Silver Clad – 3 Coin Set||3,998,621||35|
|1979 S||Type 1 – Filled S||3,677,175||9.14|
|1979 S||Type 2 – Clear S||N/A||94|
|1981 S||Type 1 – Filled S||4,063,083||7.88|
|1981 S||Type 2 – Clear S||N/A||343|
|1983 S||Prestige Set – Olympic Dollar||140,361||55|
|1983 S||No Mint Mark on Dime||N/A||910|
|1984 S||Prestige Set – Olympic Dollar||316,680||51|
|1986 S||Prestige Set – Statue of Liberty Half and Dollar||599,317||45|
|1987 S||Prestige Set – Constitution Dollar||435,495||42|
|1988 S||Prestige Set – Olympic Dollar||231,661||51|
|1989 S||Prestige Set – Congressional Half and Dollar||211,087||52|
|1990 S||No Mint Mark on Penny||3,555||5,845|
|1990 S||Prestige Set – Eisenhower Dollar||506,126||51|
|1990 S||Prestige Set – No Mint Mark on Penny||N/A||6,231|
|1991 S||Prestige Set – Mount Rushmore Half and Dollar||256,954||55|
|1992 S||Prestige Set – Olympic Half and Dollar||183,285||55|
|1992 S||Silver Premier||308,055||36|
|1993 S||Prestige Set – Bill Of Rights James Madison Half and Dollar||224,045||67|
|1993 S||Silver Premier||191,140||42|
|1994 S||Prestige Set – World Cup Half and Dollar||175,893||55|
|1994 S||Silver Premier||149,320||39|
|1995 S||Prestige Set – Civil War Half and Dollar||107,112||102|
|1995 S||Silver Premier||130,107||70|
|1996 S||Prestige Set – Olympic Half and Dollar||55,000||371|
|1996 S||Silver Premier||151,366||36|
|1997 S||Prestige Set – Botanic Dollar||80,000||91|
|1997 S||Silver Premier||136,205||48|
|1998 S||Silver Premier||240,658||34|
|1999 S||9 Piece Set||2,543,401||14|
|1999 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||1,169,958||9.14|
|1999 S||Silver 9 Piece Set||804,565||148|
|2000 S||10 Piece Set||3,082,572||9.14|
|2000 S||5 Quarter Set||937,600||6.65|
|2000 S||Silver 10 Piece Set||965,421||67|
|2001 S||10 Piece Set||2,294,909||20|
|2001 S||5 Quarter Set||799,231||13|
|2001 S||Silver 10 Piece Set||889,697||74|
|2002 S||10 Piece Set||2,319,766||14|
|2002 S||5 Quarter Set||764,479||11|
|2002 S||Silver 10 Piece Set||892,229||63|
|2003 S||10 Piece Set||2,172,684||13|
|2003 S||5 Quarter Set||1,235,832||6.65|
|2003 S||Silver 10 Piece Set||1,125,755||55|
|2004 S||11 Piece Set||1,789,488||13|
|2004 S||5 Quarter Set||951,196||6.65|
|2004 S||Silver 11 Piece Set||1,175,934||55|
|2004 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||593,852||39|
|2005 S||11 Piece Set||2,275,000||9.14|
|2005 S||5 Quarter Set||987,960||6.65|
|2005 S||Silver 11 Piece Set||1,069,679||63|
|2005 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||608,970||39|
|2006 S||10 Piece Set||2,000,428||13|
|2006 S||5 Quarter Set||882,000||10|
|2006 S||Silver 10 Piece Set||1,054,008||63|
|2006 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||531,000||48|
|2007 S||14 Piece Set||1,702,116||17|
|2007 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||672,662||10|
|2007 S||4 Piece Presidential Set||1,285,972||11|
|2007 S||Silver 14 Piece Set||875,050||70|
|2007 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||672,662||38|
|2008 S||14 Piece Set||1,382,017||94|
|2008 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||672,438||55|
|2008 S||4 Piece Presidential Set||836,730||17|
|2008 S||Silver 14 Piece Set||763,887||83|
|2008 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||429,021||51|
|2009 S||18 Piece Set||1,482,502||39|
|2009 S||6 Piece Quarter Set||630,976||17|
|2009 S||4 Piece Presidential Set||629,585||14|
|2009 S||4 Piece Lincoln Bicentennial Set||200,000||20|
|2009 S||Silver 18 Piece Set||697,365||83|
|2009 S||Silver 6 Piece Quarter Set||299,183||45|
|2010 S||14 Piece Set||1,103,815||83|
|2010 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||276,296||38|
|2010 S||4 Piece Presidential Set||535,397||23|
|2010 S||Silver 14 Piece Set||585,401||83|
|2010 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||274,034||48|
|2011 S||14 Piece Set||1,098,835||83|
|2011 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||152,302||28|
|2011 S||4 Piece Presidential Set||299,853||34|
|2011 S||Silver 14 Piece Set||574,175||102|
|2011 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||147,901||51|
|2012 S||14 Piece Set||794,002||107|
|2012 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||148,498||23|
|2012 S||4 Piece Presidential Set||249,265||67|
|2012 S||Silver 14 Piece Set||395,443||198|
|2012 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||162,448||51|
|2012 S||Silver 8 Piece Limited Edition Set||50,169||206|
|2013 S||14 Piece Set||802,460||39|
|2013 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||128,377||20|
|2013 S||4 Piece Presidential Set||266,677||26|
|2013 S||Silver 14 Piece Set||419,720||64|
|2013 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||138,451||42|
|2013 S||Silver 8 Piece Limited Edition Set||47,971||169|
|2014 S||14 Piece Set||714,661||39|
|2014 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||115,179||26|
|2014 S||4 Piece Presidential Set||229,415||33|
|2014 S||Silver 14 Piece Set||429,529||102|
|2014 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||119,251||45|
|2014 S||Silver 8 Piece Limited Edition Set||42,614||169|
|2015 S||14 Piece Set||662,934||39|
|2015 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||99,507||26|
|2015 S||4 Piece Presidential Set||222,068||33|
|2015 S||Silver 14 Piece Set||387,460||102|
|2015 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||103,369||45|
|2016 S||13 Piece Set||595,219||39|
|2016 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||91,754||26|
|2016 S||3 Piece Presidential Set||231,580||33|
|2016 S||Silver 13 Piece Set||369,874||102|
|2016 S||Silver 8 Piece Limited Edition Set||49,647||169|
|2016 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||95,711||45|
|2017 S||10 Piece Set||568,686||39|
|2017 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||88,909||26|
|2017 S||Silver 10 Piece Set||358,100||102|
|2017 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||89,632||160|
|2017 S||Limited Edition Silver Proof Set||49,979||45|
|2018 S||10 Piece Set||517,053||39|
|2018 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||86,694||26|
|2018 S||Silver 10 Piece Set||332,268||102|
|2018 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||79,300||45|
|2018 S||Reverse Silver Proof 10 Piece Set||199,177||121|
|2018 S||Limited Edition Silver Proof Set||49,480||169|
|2019 S||10 Piece Set||600,423||45|
|2019 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||78,929||39|
|2019 S||Silver 10 Piece Set||412,508||26|
|2019 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||78,585||102|
|2019 S||Limited Edition Silver Proof Set||48,417||160|
|2019 S||American Innovation Dollar Proof Set||138,236||23|
|2020 S||10 Piece Set||465,080||45|
|2020 S||5 Piece Quarter Set||64,242||39|
|2020 S||Silver 10 Piece Set||313,190||102|
|2020 S||Silver 5 Piece Quarter Set||64,012||26|
|2020 S||Limited Edition Silver Proof Set||49,995||160|
|2020 S||American Innovation Dollar Proof Set||102,220||34|
|2021 S||Proof Set||481,589||45|
|2021 S||Silver Proof Set||274,630||102|
|2021 S||Limited Edition Silver Proof Set||48,213||160|
|2021 S||American Innovation Dollar Proof Set||71,084||28|
|2021 S||American Innovation Dollar Reverse Proof Set||44,770||34|
|2022 S||Proof Set||N/A||45|
|2022 S||Silver Proof Set||N/A||102|
|2022 S||Limited Edition Silver Proof Set||N/A||160|
|2022 S||American Women Quarters Proof Set||N/A||39|
|2022 S||American Women Quarters Silver Proof Set||N/A||102|
|2022 S||American Innovation Dollar Proof Set||N/A||28|
|2022 S||American Innovation Dollar Reverse Proof Set||N/A||34|
As additional information, in addition to numismatic stores, auction houses, internet portals, and others, today you can purchase many years of proof sets on the United States Mint website.
References and sources
- United States Mint
- Heritage auctions
- The Official Red book 2023: A Guide Book of United States Coins.
I have a degree in Business Administration and Management and numismatics studies at the University of Murcia (Spain).