2022 Uncirculated Sets Arrive
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12 posts in this topic

Huge changes in packaging and coin quality. For those who cut these up for update sets, the packaging is now cardboard, and not that plastic it has been for years. The coins themselves are still in plastic “capsules”ISH things. All 20 coins are utterly flawless. These HAVE TO BE hand fed and removed from the presses without dropping down into bins. The quarters in particular are stunning, but all 20 coins might grade out 67 or even better. These are NOT your pappy’s Uncirculated Sets from the 70’s and 80’s. 

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Since the late 1980s the coins that go into the Uncirculated Sets have been struck solely from fresh dies that are specially treated and then discarded as soon as they begin to wear. The resulting coins have hard, faintly prooflike fields, while the ones mass produced for general circulation often reveal normal die erosion and mint luster that looks nothing like those on the set coins.

When I was buying each year's Proof and Uncirculated Sets throughout the 1970s and most of the '80s I could always count on mediocre quality coins from my mail orders. The half dollars, in particular, took much abuse, as the Uncirculated Set packaging machinery placed a characteristic scrape on the chief of the shield for most examples seen. One was better off getting current coins from a bank back then.

Once the Old San Francisco Mint Museum opened in 1973, with its gift shop, I could cherrypick through five or ten sets searching for unmolested halves, but that didn't happen until after the folks there got to know me. Since I performed research in the museum's superb library (where is it now?), I became a familiar figure there, and they gave me a lot of leeway after that. Sadly, the museum closed in 1994, and the building has been underutilized ever since, though there have been occasional coin shows there. :whee:

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Of course the matte ones of 2005-2010 were obviously different. 

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Of course the matte ones of 2005-2010 were obviously different. 

You're right, of course, and I forgot about those. I haven't ordered anything from the U. S. Mint since the late 1990s, though I have kept the ones I bought previously as reference pieces.

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Do hope hope you're coming along fine. I enjoy your straight-forward dispatches.

I'm managing well enough under the circumstances, but I deeply regret having to cancel my teaching gig at the ANA Seminar in June and missing all coin shows this spring and summer. I hope to be back in action for the Fall Baltimore show, but that remains to be seen.

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