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Where Can I Find a List of U.S. Mint Souvenir Sets? 

The mintage and production information for the U.S. Mint Souvenir Sets was not recorded and is still unknown. The U.S. Mint Souvenir Set was an oddity among numismatic sets and one that was never as popular with collectors as other sets.  

It was sold at the Denver Mint between 1972-1998 and at the Philadelphia Mint from 1973-1998. The two mints sold Mint Souvenir Sets until the beginning of the 50 State Quarter Program in 1999.  

While we do not have access to an official list of these sets, we can tell you more about them. 

Coins in the U.S. Mint Souvenir Set 

Souvenir sets sold for $4.00 and had a face value of $0.91. They contained a Lincoln cent, Jefferson nickel, Roosevelt dime, Washington quarter, Kennedy half dollar, and a medal that featured an image of the Mint. The coins were sealed in individual pockets of a cellophane pack, which was housed in a Mint envelope. 

These sets were only available for purchase from the Mint gift shop. 

The Souvenir Sets have some of the lowest survival rates compared to more popular and widely collected coin sets from the U.S. Mint. In addition, coins used for Souvenir Sets were said to be inconsistent and varied in quality. 

What is the Difference Between Souvenir Sets and Mint Sets? 

From a passing glance, these look similar but there are some key differences between the two. 

U.S. Mint Souvenir Coin Sets: 

  1. Were made for less than 30 years and ended in 1998.  
  1. Contain five coins and one medal. 
  1. Were packaged in a single cellophane pack and only included coins minted in the location it was sold. 
  1. Were only sold at the Mint’s gift shop. 

U.S. Mint Uncirculated Coin Sets: 

  1. Have been sold by the U.S. Mint since 1947. 
  1. Include uncirculated examples of all designs and denominations for a given year, often 11 coins. 
  1. Often include more than one cellophane pack. 
  1. Can be ordered online, by mail, or from a retailer. 

The 1982 and 1983 Souvenir Sets 

There have only been three years the U.S. Mint did not issue an uncirculated mint set: In 1950, 1982, and 1983. In those years, the Mint was forced to temporarily suspend production of uncirculated sets due to budget cuts.  

The recession gripping the economy at the time left little interest in new coins and little funding for collector’s coin sets. As such, higher grades of the coins from these two years are sought after and many collectors have collected the Souvenir Sets in lieu of a Mint Set. 

If you encounter these sets for sale today, note the sets packaged by third parties. These will not be sold in original government packaging (OGP) and the quality of the coins should be greater than official Souvenir Sets, since the coins were hand-picked. 

Things to look for to determine if your set may be a U.S. Mint Souvenir Set: 

  • If the Souvenir Set is from the Denver Mint, it will be in a darker blue envelope with “Denver Mint Souvenir Set” printed in black. 
  • If the Souvenir Set is from the Philadelphia Mint, it will be in a light blue envelope with “Philadelphia Mint Souvenir Set” printed in black. 
  • Are the coins sealed in individual cellophane pockets within a larger pack? If so, does the cellophane list either Denver or Philadelphia as the origin? 

Value and Mintage of the U.S. Mint Souvenir Set 

While the mintage and total production numbers were not tracked or recorded, some collectors have looked to Annual Reports from the Director of the U.S. Mint and current availability.  

This is estimated information but can be useful in determining the value of a sale. 

The low production years of the Souvenir Mint Set are thought to include 1973-1975, 1986, and 1993-1998, when production was in the low thousands. It is estimated that 1972 is the lowest mintage year with only a few hundred sets and that 1987 was the highest production year with thousands of sets. 

If you own a 1982 or 1983 U.S. Mint Souvenir Set, it is a piece of numismatic history! 

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