BDE 20th Century Proofs, No Gold (NGC Only)
My passion for 20th Century coins extends into this proof-only type set. (see also my non-proof only type set). Naturally, proofs normally offer a superior look to business strikes because that is their purpose. So as a type collector, it makes sense to collect and celebrate the proof issues of the great coins in history.
Honestly, about half of this set is relatively easy to assemble. Anything available in the 1990's is affordable (under $100) even when buying PF70 Ultra Cameo grades. Coins exclusive to the 1970's, such as Ike dollars and the Bicentennial issues are affordable if you can be satisfied with the PF69UC grade. There are only a handful of these types graded PF70UC by NGC, but PCGS graded a lot of them in PR70 Deep Cameo.
Now the other half of the type set is a different story. While all coin types from 1950-1964 are commonly found, most of them are hard to find when you want the highest grades. Check the difference between a PF65 and a PF69UC Franklin or Kennedy. And those grades mean big differences in NGC's scoring metric. It is worth pointing out that the coins from Special Mint Sets in 1965-1967 are counted as proofs. The silver-clad Kennedy half dollars are rare in Ultra Cameo grades, so they fetch big money and are worth more registry points than the 1968-1970 silver-clad proofs in the same grade.
Between the years 1900-1942 is where it gets interesting. Proof coinage has low mintage figures from 1936-1942 (between 3837 and 32,600) and has very low mintage figures from 1900-1916 (between 380 to 4118 per coin per year). No proof coins were struck from 1917-1935 and from 1943-1949, which makes all types that ended before 1943 hard to find and more valuable. Those types are: the Indian cent; the Liberty nickel; the Barber dime, quarter and half; the Morgan dollar; the Lincoln VDB and matte cents; all 3 of the Buffalo nickel types; the Type 2 Jefferson nickel; the Mercury dime; and the Walking Liberty half. Because of the way these coins were packaged and stored for the past 75-120 years, like business strikes, many have unique toning and their own individual beauty. These are the coins that make this set special.
Here are the total populations of each proof type produced from 1900-1942 listed least common to most:
1,194 1c VDB (1909)
1,520 5c Buffalo T1 matte (1913)
3,907 $1 Morgan (1900-1904)
4,439 5c Buffalo T2 matte (1913-1916)
10,189 5c Buffalo T2 brilliant (1936-1937)
10,336 25c Barber (1900-1916)
10,350 50c Barber (1900-1915)
10,390 10c Barber (1900-1916)
17,181 1c Wheat matte (1909-1916)
19,019 1c Indian (1900-1909)
27,600 5c Jefferson silver (1942)
27,890 5c Liberty (1900-1912)
73,875 25c Washington (1936-1942)*
74,400 50c Walking Liberty (1936-1942)
78,648 10c Mercury (1936-1942)
112,715 1c Wheat brilliant (1936-1942)*
121,978 5c Jefferson (1938-1942)*
* production of these types continued in 1950
Note the scarcity of the VDB and the type 1 Buffalo proofs! In my set, I tried to get the best coins that I could find and afford - so I immediately decided to save the scarce $20K Lincoln VDB matte proof for after I win the lottery.
My compliments to Zakmar, who has won this category for 10+ years. His set has *three* pre-1943 coins graded PF68★! In my book, that is equivalent to catching a unicorn, a leprechaun, and a sasquatch. Nice!
All photos were taken by me.Read more...