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SMS Question

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Thanks for the tip, Greg. I've seen alot of slabbed SMS coins but not that many in the original packaging.




The SMS's (sets) are not extremely difficult to find. There were a couple million of each of the three years made. They were mostly ignored for years since proof collectors generally considered them to be mint state sets and mint set collectors tended to consider them specimen or proof sets. They've always had a little interest at least on the basis of the fact that the quality tends to be excellent. There has been interest in the last decade or more in the cameo coins which are sometimes found in these sets. These are often nearly indistinguishable from proofs and a few may technically be proofs. Attrition has been fairly high since the wholesale price has dipped below a couple dollars for them and at one point in '79/'80 they were worth more than wholesale for the silver in them. Despite this there are still many of these around. In the last several months the prices for these have become quite bouyant. The '67 set which wholesaled at $4 just six years ago can bring as much as $17.50 from some dealers now. Perhaps more interestingly prices on these sets can more than double if they are still in their unopened mint packaging. This is largely because collectors are seeking gems which have been picked out of all the other sets but there are also numerous highly desirable varieties which can be found in the sets. Original sets have a cameo coin in about every third set and some of these are deep cameo. Most sets on the market contain no deep cameos and only about every tenth set will have a cameo.


All three years of these coins made for circulation were rarely available in attractive condition so there was a little interest in these almost from the start.

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I've had generally dysmal luck finding nice original SMS sets. When I spy even one coin of high grade in a set, I buy the set. I cut out the choice piece and store it well, then tuck the rest away in my junk collection. I have had only a couple graded, and the best I've done is MS67. I have yet to come across a coin with enough cameo to be designated as such, and I looked at several hundred sets. Maybe I just have poor luck, but I think that when you come across nice coins, they are with saving to assemble into a single nice set, say in a Cap Plastics holder.



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