2011 Mint Set

My 2011 Mint Set arrived from the United States Mint a few days ago. This year’s set represents a big shift from recent years as the finish of the coin has been changed from satin like to brilliant.

From 2005 to 2010, the satin finish was used for set. For the first couple of years, coins included in the sets were immaculate and made ended up grading MS69 at the major grading services. Certain of the State Quarters are so abundant in this top grade that the premium is very small.

At some point, it seems that the US Mint may have changed their packaging procedure or coin handling procedure, which resulted in more coin on coin contact. This type of contact left a lot of marks on the coins and correspondingly the average grade and general eye appeal of coins included in Mint Sets declined.

This was not without something of a silver lining. Coins that had managed to escape contact marks and grade MS69 were in the distinct minority from perhaps 2008 onwards. This meant that some diligent searching could uncover top grade coins worth a nice premium.

Well, the mechanics of Mint Set collecting have changed again. The new brilliant finish most likely won’t be differentiated from circulation strikes. That means high grade circulation strike coins will be easier to find (lower premiums), and the great satin finish experiment will have concluded, creating short sets of 2005 to 2010 across the various denominations.

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