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2011-S Silver Quarter Proof Set
2012-S Quarter Proof Set
2014-S Presidential Dollar Proof Set
2014-S Quarter Proof Set
The United States Mint started producing Proof coins as early as the 1850's. The term "Proof" refers to the method in which these coins are manufactured and not the actual condition of the coin. This special process of manufacturing involves specially selected planchets (the blanks that the coins are struck from) as well as dies that have been highly polished. The planchets, at one time, were hand fed into the press and special care is taken in the handling and packaging of these Proof coins.
Proof coins usually receive two strikes from the coin press which gives them an increased sharpness in overall detail. Because the planchets and dies were highly polished before striking the coin will also have an extremely brilliant mirror-like surface. Some early Proof coins will exhibit a frosted effect. These frosted Proofs are highly sought after prizes to the serious collector and specialist in Proof coins. In recent years Proof coins have purposely been produced with a very strong cameo effect which gives them a mirror-like field and a contrasting frosty effect on all the raised surfaces of the coin.
Single Proof coins were available from the Mint, at a premium over their face value, in the years in which they were minted. In 1936 the Mint started offering Proof coins in complete sets, cent, nickel, dime, quarter and half dollar. These sets originally sold for $1.87 each. In 1942 there were some Proof Sets issued with two nickels. The regular composition as well as the silver. The production and sale of Proof Sets was suspended in 1943 and was not resumed until 1950.
All Proof Sets issued from 1936 to 1972 include the cent, nickel, dime, quarter and half dollar; from 1973 till 1981 the dollar was added and then removed from the sets in 1982. From our list below of the various links to Jake's Proof Set prices you will also note that there are what is called Prestige Proof Sets. These sets were first produced in 1983 and will also contain either a Commemorative dollar or half dollar and dollar for that year. The production of Prestige Proof Sets was suspended with the last issue being 1997. There are also Silver Proof Sets starting in 1992. These sets will have a 90% silver dime, quarter and half dollar like the earlier sets issued form 1936 to 1964. The Silver Premier sets are similar to the Silver Proof Sets and differ only by being packaged in a more deluxe case. Production of the Premier Silver Proof Sets were discontinued in 1999.
In 1999 there was a major transformation in the packaging of Proof Sets with the issuance of the 50 State Commemorative quarters. Proof Sets were issued as a 9 coin set which comprised of 2 different holders for the coins. One holder contains the cent, nickel, dime and half dollar. The other holder has all 5 of the 50 State Commemorative quarters issued for that year. You could also purchase just the 5 quarters separately if you choose. Sets from 1999 were available both as a regular copper-nickel clad composition for the dime, quarter and half dollar and in the 90% silver for these coins.
In 2000 the Sacagawea Dollar coin was added to both the regular issue Proof Set and the 90% Silver version sets creating a 10 coin set. The new golden dollar was included with the display case for the Cent, Nickel, Dime and Half-Dollar.
Proof Sets have always been a very popular part of numismatics. Some collector's will collect one set of every year issued from 1936 to present date while others will start their collection with the more affordable "flat pack" issues from 1955 and continue on up to present day issues. Another popular way these sets are collected is by various nostalgic years to commemorate a significant occasion like an Anniversary, a Birth Year, Wedding Year, Graduation Day, etc.