Silver Proof Set vs Proof Set

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by jwa_jwa_jwa, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. jwa_jwa_jwa

    jwa_jwa_jwa Senior Member

    Say I bought these on EBay (which I didn't) and upon receiving them, how can I tell that someone didn't just exchange the contents for something from the regular Mint Proof Set? Is there anything written on the lenses or anything on the coins themselves to differentiate them?
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  3. statequarterguy

    statequarterguy Love Pucks

    The silver proof set's insert is a flag with red stripes, the clad proof set's insert is a flag with blue stripes. Search proof sets on eBay and you’ll be able to see the difference.
  4. 19Lyds

    19Lyds Member of the United States of Confusion

    Aside from the physical appearance of a silver coin vs a copper nickel clad coin, the only other positive method of determining this would be to view the edge of the coin. The copper nickel clad coins will have a bright coppery edge. The Proof set lens open easily enough and coins are easily removed and examined.

    Weight would be another consideration since the 90% Silver coins WILL weigh more than their Copper Nickel clad counterparts. Its a small amount but it is detectable.

    2009 Territorial Quarter Cn Lens w/quarters weighs 79.4 grams
    2009 Territorial Quarter Silver lens w/quarters weighs 82.1 grams

    Of course you need a coin scale but these can be had for less than $30.
  5. statequarterguy

    statequarterguy Love Pucks

    I like the idea of weighing the whole set. But don't like the idea of opening the set (I don't break my coins out), tough to protect that mirrored surface. So, I don't know, are they that easy to open - thought they were sealed pretty good?
  6. Hudson James

    Hudson James Junior Member

    Interesting scam.
    Take a clad proof set and slip it into a silver set packaging and sell it for silver prices...who would look? Not that many I bet.

    Now they do have a different color to them a silver set next to a clad set and the coins do look a little different but to the novice or untrained eye ..maybe not enough to cause suspicion.
  7. jwa_jwa_jwa

    jwa_jwa_jwa Senior Member

    The reason I raised this question is because I was looking at the 2 sets and I could not tell the difference by just looking at the coins.
    The lens inserts and the coin weights are the way to go. Coin weight proving the definitive answer.
    I see silver sets on sale at ebay all the time and wondered if I couldn't tell the difference with the coins, what would prevent an unscrupulous seller from scamming others that way too? Most of the time the pictures shown on ebay are the stock photos anyway.
  8. bhp3rd

    bhp3rd Die varieties, Gems

    Lay tissue paper over them - the silver will be white, clad will not show up good.

    Lay tissue paper over them - the silver will be white, clad will not show up good.
  9. Timm129

    Timm129 Junior Member

    bhp3rd ..
    I tried the tissue paper and it worked great.... Thanks for the tip...
  10. RedTiger

    RedTiger Member

    Replacing the silver coins with clad and selling the sets was a big scam on the 'bay. It was the subject of a CoinWorld article a couple of years back. Lots of folks got taken to the cleaners. Some may not even know it yet. Be careful out there.
  11. zekeguzz

    zekeguzz lmc freak

    Thanks for the heads up. Darn, I should have known. Fortunately I have never bought a silver set from ebay, just mint proof sets. Thanks!
  12. bhp3rd

    bhp3rd Die varieties, Gems

    I mentioned it before but as time goes on you should

    I mentioned it before but as time goes on you should be able to easily "see" the difference also.
    Experienced collectors have no trouble at all telling the silver from clad 100% of the time.
    Coin silver is gem when struck this way, clad is a "wantobe gem".
  13. jwa_jwa_jwa

    jwa_jwa_jwa Senior Member

    Thanks bhp3rd.
    I'd love to be able to tell the difference by just looking at the sets with the naked eye.
    I am going to look at the sets and try harder to see the difference. If not, the other methods will do the trick.
  14. bhp3rd

    bhp3rd Die varieties, Gems

    Try this,

    Try this, instead of looking at the coin from a straight distance, head down surface of the set or coin flat in front learn to move that baby around. Look at it from all angles possible. Look at it across like it's flat and your just scanning the top of the surface flat from your eye as if looking across the coins. Turn it at one foot below a 60 watt bulb to the extreme so that the light gathers in different places at different times. Bring the light to the coin not the coin to the light. Learn to tilt that coin forward and not backward as you bring the loupe in - this is the one biggest mistake I see peple doing automaticly as they bring thier loupe towards the coin they block the light with their head or even worse a hat or cap.

    Learn to look at coins with your minds eye instead of your logical eye.
    See what you have not seen before. Go beyond the thought "well I've looked at them and they look the same" thought. If you look across a proof silver it will still look white a clad will start to change to a greyish tone. Silver is white clad is grey or metalic, steely if you will. Silver strikes up much better and different than the hard clad type steel does. Silver lettering and numbers while first looking the same will take on a softer but more defined look - once you get it, you will have it".
  15. grizz

    grizz numismatist

    ....just my opinion but i'd take my chances with a reputable dealer ANYTIME over

    things on the bay.
  16. mikenoodle

    mikenoodle The Village Idiot Supporter

    all due respect, grizz, but it is much better to learn how to figure it out for yourself. If you don't have to trust another's opinion, don't.

    The method with the toilet paper that bhp3rd posted is super simple, and easily determinable whether silver or clad. I don't ever want to discourage anyone from learning to authenticate on their own.

    eBay can offer some bargains at times, and there's no reason to not buy these sets there as long as a return policy is offered by the seller.
  17. statequarterguy

    statequarterguy Love Pucks

    I have to agree, negligible difference between the two, mostly due to the fact the same surfaces are laid on both. I'd like to see a silver unc mint set. Now there would be a set easily distinguishable from the cupro nickel business strikes.
  18. bhp3rd

    bhp3rd Die varieties, Gems

    Huge differents as mentioned in earlier thread, any I mean any person

    Huge differents as mentioned in earlier thread, any I mean any person that cannot tell the differents has not looked at thousands of coins - it's like a no brainer for the experenced coin collector or dealer - frankly I'm always surprised when this comes up - I mean I can see it for someone in coins for a few years but otherwise???????
  19. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    What State guy wrote is fact for sure, but, I'd crack that lens open and check the third side just to make sure.....:smile
  20. jwa_jwa_jwa

    jwa_jwa_jwa Senior Member

    With time and experience, as you say, it sounds like this is easily achievable.

    You're correct though, without having looked at thousands of coins and without the practice, it is not so apparent to some of us.
  21. quartertapper

    quartertapper Numismatist

    I have to add to this one. Be advised that many sellers will make half or more of the purchase total as shipping, which most of the time is not refunded if the item is returned. This is intentional to prevent returns, even if the item is not as described. Gotta love ebay, folks!
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