1965 Special Mint Set

1965 Special Mint Set

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In 1964, America faced an impending coin shortage due to speculation and hoarding of small change, thus requiring all the attentions of the Philadelphia Mint. The shortage was so severe, that the Mint broke a long-standing tradition, and produced 1964 dated coins, as late as 1966! Even worse, the Treasury discontinued production of Proof Sets and Mint Sets, so that full production capacity could be focused on coins for circulation. As an alternative, the Mint began producing Special Mint Sets containing coins that were, in effect, souped-up Uncirculated pieces. The "special" finish was brighter and shinier than on regular coins struck for general use, but short of the brilliant, mirrored surfaces of true Proof coins.

Even though these sets were struck and produced at the San Francisco Mint (then an Assay Office), the coins bore no mintmark. Three things worked against the 1965 Special Mint Sets: One, they contained no 90% Silver coins (the Dime and Quarter were made of Copper-Nickel; the Half Dollar only 40% Silver); two, the public failed to embrace the new finish; and three, the Mint priced the sets at an unprecedented $4.00 - mostly to reduce speculation, and partially to pay for a seventy-five cent registered mailing fee (instituted to reduce excessive losses through the mail system).

All of the Special Mint Set coins were struck at San Francisco on old presses obtained from the Ordnance Department, but without an identifying mintmark.

Each set contained five coins: Lincoln Cent, Jefferson Nickel, Roosevelt Dime, Washington Quarter, and Kennedy Half Dollar.

Mintage: 2,360,000 sets

The coins in the 1965 Special Mint Sets were sealed in flat cellophane packs along with a blue and silver disk identifying this as a Special Mint Set. The pack was sealed in a white envelope.

Images are representative of the product listed.