Why were 1964 special mint sets made?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by The Half Dime, Feb 11, 2024.

  1. The Half Dime

    The Half Dime Active Member

    This has to be the question numismatists think of often when it comes to Special Mint Sets. When I hear 1964 SMS, I think:

    Why were these made?
    How many were made?
    How do I spot one in circulation?
    Does it have a prooflike satin finish?

    Back in that day, it was apparently common for the Smithsonian Institution to receive some of the first coins minted that year; let's face it, they receive everything we'd like to have, and I won't even start because it'd take hours on end. But, why would the Mint make just 20-50 estimated special mint sets?

    Possible reasons include preparation for 1965-67 mint sets, potential intended limited mintage coins to ring collectors' chimes, or maybe even 1964 planned special mint sets where some got out before the idea was shoved off the table.

    What is your theory on the suspiciously low mintage of these 1964 SMS coins?
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  3. Evan8

    Evan8 A Little Off Center

    What I think I can answer: only like 12-14 sets were made I believe, all of which were owned once by the director of the mint at the time.
    I think they were made as precursors to the SMS sets of 65, 66, and 67.
    You will never find an example in circulation so don't waste your time, so if you have the funds just buy a certified example or just a whole set;)
    Spark1951 likes this.
  4. The Half Dime

    The Half Dime Active Member

    A whole set lol?

    Wait a second.... that'll be easy! Here's my ingredients:
    Anywhere between $10,000 and $500,000
    Uhhhh.... that's it!

    Anyways, I don't know if anyone can own a complete set nowadays. The half dollars seem to be the most expensive, and they're outrageous.
  5. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Something new to generate extra money for the mint.
  6. The Half Dime

    The Half Dime Active Member

    Kinda like the story behind 9 out of 10 pattern coins. I read that most were created to raise money, but what the boneheads didn't know was that they'd be highly sought after today.

    Take an 1869 V nickel pattern on eBay. I don't ever see them using that for circulation as it doesn't have the cents denomination on it.
  7. robec

    robec Junior Member

  8. Kevin Mader

    Kevin Mader Fellow Coin Enthusiast Supporter

    My avatar of the 1882 V nickel was the one that got away. It is interesting how items not meant for circulation end up there. But patterns and rare SMS's and proofs...needles I suppose. I believe I found a 1967 SMS Jefferson on one CRH event. It was blemished and likely the reason it went into circulation.
  9. The Half Dime

    The Half Dime Active Member

    One of the most interesting items that get into circulation are proof coins, and sometimes silver coins nowadays. Not too long ago, I found a proof quarter in circulation (I doubted it at first because it was an S ATB quarter, and I literally own 10 of the regular strikes in MS68, with one in MS67) and although it has lost its cameo contrast, it's still a really nice coin with no wear.
    Kevin Mader likes this.
  10. Lon Chaney

    Lon Chaney Well-Known Member

    Don't let the date fool you. There were likely minted in 1965 or 1966. Silver coins for circulation with the 1964 date were minted for 1-2 years after 1964.
  11. The Half Dime

    The Half Dime Active Member

    That was where the Mint went right in my opinion. If not, we wouldn't have any 1965 silver coinage! Let's see.... the 1965 quarter, dime, and if applicable, a 1965 90% silver half dollar error. ;)
    Kevin Mader likes this.
  12. Kevin Mader

    Kevin Mader Fellow Coin Enthusiast Supporter

    Almost every proof in my collection is an impaired proof. My first impaired proof was a Proof State Quarter that I got in change. Then over time, I snagged cent and nickel proofs during CRH events and a proof dime in change. Some look pretty clean, while others look heavily circulated. Fun finds for sure!!
  13. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Why did the mint do it? Because they can! End of story.
  14. The Half Dime

    The Half Dime Active Member

    You literally explained the story behind the 1 million dollar Gold Maple Leads from 2007 in 3 words.
    Mr.Q likes this.
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