2016 Proof Set and 2016 Silver Proof Set Mark New Sales Lows

by Mike Unser on June 30, 2017 · 16 comments

The trend of weaker sales continues for United States Mint clad and silver proofs sets. The agency recently stopped selling its pair of flagship sets for 2016 and, according to the latest Mint figures; they ended at milestone low levels.

Lens with 2016-S America the Beautiful Quarters, Reverse

A CoinNews photo of a lens with 2016 proof quarters (clad). These quarters are in the 2016 Proof Set. The quarters commemorate Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, and Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) in South Carolina.

A few years back, it was often cheaper to buy proof sets after the U.S. Mint stopped selling them. More are now holding their values in the secondary market. Some mintage low sets are actually commanding exceptional premiums.

2016 Proof Set

The clad 2016 Proof Set launched on April 1, 2016 for $31.95. Coins in the set include the year’s cent, nickel, dime, five quarters, half-dollar, and $1 coins with each struck at the San Francisco Mint to proof quality.

2016 United States Mint Proof Set

The 2016 Proof Set — lenses, coins and packaging

Last reported sales have the clad set at 595,184 for the lowest total since the 1955 Proof Set ended at 378,200.

The 2015-dated set previously held that distinction at 662,934; preceded by the set from 2014 at 680,977; and then before it the set from 2012 at 794,002. The set from 2015 is realizing prices ranging from around $31 to $39. You can find 2014 Proof Sets that have recently sold from $28 to $37. The set from 2012, which failed to breach the mintage milestone of 1 million for the first time in decades, continues to score the best prices by realizing from $82 to $105.

2008 – 2016 Proof Set Mintages

Year Issue Price Coins Issue Date Ending Sales / Mintage
2016 Set $31.95 13 April 1, 2016 595,184
2015 Set $32.95 14 Mar. 24, 2015 662,934
2014 Set $31.95 14 Mar. 25, 2014 680,977
2013 Set $31.95 14 Mar. 28, 2013 802,460
2012 Set $31.95 14 May 7, 2012 794,002
2011 Set $31.95 14 Jan. 11, 2011 1,098,835
2010 Set $31.95 14 July 22, 2010 1,103,815
2009 Set $29.95 18 June 1, 2009 1,482,502
2008 Set $26.95 14 June 24, 2008 1,405,674


2016 Silver Proof Set

The 2016 Silver Proof Set launched on April 18, 2016 for $52.95. Like in the regular clad set, the silver set has San Francisco Mint-struck proofs of the year’s cent, nickel, dime, five quarters, half-dollar, and $1 coins. Adding to its appeal, seven of the coins — the half-dollar, five quarters and dime — are in 90% silver.

2016 Silver Proof Set

The 2016 Silver Proof Set — lenses, coins and packaging

Last reported sales have the silver set at 369,849. Introduced in 1992 as an annual product, no other silver proof set has a lower mintage.

The 2015-dated set had held the mintage low distinction at 387,460; and before it the set from 2012 at 395,443. Sets from 2015 are selling from $50 to $75. Those from 2012 are moving for around $175 to $200.

2008 – 2016 Silver Proof Set Mintages

Year Issue Price Coins Issue Date Ending Sales / Mintage
2016 Set $52.95 13 April 18, 2016 369,849
2015 Set $53.95 14 May 14, 2015 387,460
2014 Set $53.95 14 April 29, 2014 404,665
2013 Set $67.95 14 May 2, 2013 419,720
2012 Set $67.95 14 June 4, 2012 395,443
2011 Set $67.95 14 Jan. 25, 2011 574,175
2010 Set $56.95 14 Aug. 26, 2010 585,401
2009 Set $52.95 18 July 17, 2009 697,365
2008 Set $44.95 14 Aug. 26, 2008 763,887


2017 Set Sales

United States Mint figures as of June 25, 2017 have sales of the clad 2017 Proof Set at 292,156 and those of the 2017 Silver Proof Set at 196,304. The silver set just debuted on June 7 while the clad set has been around since March 29.

The above 2016- and 2017-dated sales are unaudited figures from the United States Mint. The other years show mintages from Whitman’s third edition of MEGA RED, the expanded deluxe version of its Red Book®.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

RODNEY MOORE June 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm

So, if I am understanding this correctly, nobody wants them, nobody buys them from the mint, and then they are “low mintage” and are then valuable? That’s valuable by virtue of no one wanting them, essentially.
I can understand coins being valuable for low mintage if the mint was unable to strike many of them or for some reason that the mint didn’t strike many like being late getting the dies designed or the process perfected like with the incused lettering on the ’16 Silver Eagle, but I can’t understand the above where no one bought the sets and the “mintage” being called the number that sold instead of the number that was actually struck!
So what happens to the proofs that no one wanted to buy? Storage? Is it not possible that at some point that the mint could decide to sell some of them years later, or the GSA could sell them like when the old morgan stash was sold off?
I just started collecting about a year and a half ago and some aspects of the hobby just don’t seem to be logical.
I can understand why the mint is selling less proof sets. I buy the silver proof sets (or should say I used to but stopped after getting a bad set and a bad replacement set) just to get the silver Kennedy. The first one had a stained copper penny so I sent it back just on principle even though the coin that I really wanted, the Kennedy, was good. The replacement set had a similar problem but this time on the coin that I wanted, the Kennedy. Go figure. I just kept it and wasn’t going to bother with a second exchange because it looked like they just didn’t make any good ones, or they were just intent on not sending me a good one.
Anyways, I decided to sell the 2016 silver set for exactly what I paid for it. So now that set might be valuable because of low sales induced low mintage? I like silver coins but there’s a lot of negative things with coin collecting. And a good part of the down side is caused by the Mint itself – not just poor quality but the way they don’t have household limits such as with the recent congrats set.
I’m wondering if it’s just me or does a good many people feel similarly?

Ernesto June 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm

@Rodney Moore – I think your partially right that the sets are not as popular as they once were and that quality seems to be more of an issue. But I also think that one of the factors is the high cost of the sets. I still buy them myself but the profit/senoriage that the Mint makes on the sets are too high. In my opinion of course. It used to be much more affordable to buy items from the Mint. But it seems like every year it’s getting more difficult, to get what you want, at a fair price!!!

Richard June 30, 2017 at 5:39 pm

I think part of the problem is that the Mint churns out far too much stuff. Back in the ’60s you had two products, a mint set and a proof set, and that helped keep interest focused. Now it seems like every other week there’s something being pushed. I understand about the silver eagles and some of the high end products, and a couple of commemoratives a year, but the national park quarters, the hockey pucks, birthday sets, etc. just cheapens things no end. After awhile the list begins to look like a late night infomercial.

NW Robert July 1, 2017 at 10:32 am

Speaking of more stuff, looks like the Mint has another product for Aug. 1st.


RODNEY MOORE July 1, 2017 at 11:03 am

@ NW Robert: Thanks for posting that link to the 225th Enhanced finish. I suppose that I will get it for the Kennedy Halve. I wonder if they are also going to do this in a Silver enhanced set as well?

@Richard: I agree with you that they make way too many products. When they make Star Wars coins, baseball coins, etc it makes the other coins seem not real either. I posted a similar comment and about 5 people replied disagreeing with me. I think when they make limited amounts of products it makes them special and it certainly cheapens the whole line when they make a “special” coin every other day, some shaped like baseballs at that! For the 30th anniversary of the silver Eagle the best they could come up with is an incused edge that is hard to see in the capsule or slab. No special sets, no special finishes, no nothing – but they did have a slew of commemorative coins on every topic under the sun.

As a number of unrelated people have mentioned directly to me in an email or where I have read the comment online, the mint now is much different than it was before. Now they focus on the maximum amount of gold coins that they can sell for a hefty profit. That seems to be all they care about these days. Regular and regular proof coins which used to be their almost sole focus is the least of their concern now.

rmets40 July 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Still like the 2015 silver set. The 2016 set has lower mintage but you might want to add 42 thousand Limited Edition Sets….


Christopher Williams July 1, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Don’t worry, Mike “Sold Out, Limited Edition” Mezack will turn them into a “Very Limited Edition” sell on HSN.

Steve July 2, 2017 at 11:41 am

Does anyone know when the 2012 Silver Proof Sets began to rise in value? Wondering if the 2015 and 2016 sets with lower mintage’s will bring what the 2012’s are selling for?
Thanks, Steve

RODNEY MOORE July 2, 2017 at 11:53 am

Steve, The 2015 has no reason to rise in value since it is not the lowest mintage. Even though it doesn’t make sense because the 2016 has the lowest mintage only because people just didn’t care to buy them, I suspect it will indeed rise in value. I was too lazy to look and check prices on ebay but I suspect that everyone that read this article that sells on ebay probably immediately went and raised the price on any sets that they had for sale.
I’ve seen similar comments and articles back in January about the 2016 being the lowest mintage so as soon as the mint stopped selling them and people saw the numbers the price probably was raised by sellers at least by a little bit right after January.
But here is something to consider before buying up 2016 sets: if there is a downward trend then 2017 might be the new low. Then prices on the 2016 will drop like a rock as people realize that they really didn’t want them the first go ’round much less the 2cnd go ’round.

rmets40 July 2, 2017 at 3:49 pm

I disagree..Lets face it..The key to the silver sets are the Kennedy half, Roosevelt dime and silver quarters. The 2012 and 2016 sets had an additional 42 thousand Limited Edition coins added to these totals. Yes the 2016 set has a lower mintage, but the key coins of the 2015 set are the lowest in years. No Limited Edition that year…

Dustyroads July 2, 2017 at 4:45 pm

rmets40, You’re right about the lower mintages for the silver coins in the set. The lack of a LESPS means that the 2015 silver coins are the lowest.
However, as long as the sets are in a freefall, there will be little enthusiasm.
The 2012 silver proof sets had the fanfare immediately after the sellout in early 2013. No one was expecting it. So, the 2012 garners a special place even though it’s really not that special any more.
But because the 2015 contains the REAL lows, there should be some appreciation eventually, that is if the trend reverses, which I doubt.
Get ready for new lower lows and higher prices.

RODNEY MOORE July 2, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Why did the mint stop selling the 2016 sets? Was there some kind of law that forced it, like when they had to stop selling the 2015 Silver Eagles in 2016?
And, is it possible for the mint to start back selling the 2016 sets? I think that they could start back selling the 2015 silver Eagles if they wanted to and that they were just restricted from selling them in 2016 because of not having incused lettering.

Dustyroads July 4, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Funny thing about the 2015 sets, I tracked sales figures that year and expected them to be pulled early because of a decrease. When the 2016 sales were short as well, I believe the USM pulled the sets early in an effort to save them from gaining a reputation for being an unwanted set.

RODNEY MOORE July 4, 2017 at 5:48 pm

I was wondering (still wondering) how that worked because some items are still being sold years later. I remember the being an article here about the 2016 proof coin sets were not going to be sold after the first of they year and that it would be a new low but I don’t remember the article saying WHY it wasn’t going to be sold.
I think the 2015 Silver Eagles were pulled before the start of the year 2016 because the law mandated that the eagles sold in 2016 have a lettered edge. That clumsy wording caused them to not be able to sell the 2015 coins in 2016. *I hope I have stated this correctly* Anyways, I can understand that the law made them pull that particular group of coins but I don’t know why they stopped selling the 2016 proof sets? They didn’t sell out though, right? I suppose in 6 months we’ll see how 2017 sales were for the proof sets. Maybe a new low? And the special enhanced sets may cause part of the decrease because some people may opt to just get it instead of the regular proof set.

Dustyroads July 4, 2017 at 10:13 pm

That’s right, the wording stated that only Silver Eagles with edge lettering be sold in `16. However, the 2016 silver proof sets did sell out. In fact, they sold out 2 or 3 times as the USM delivered them to distribution. I believe the mint in San Francisco watches sales numbers closely throughout the year and makes adjustments in production up unto the end of the year when they are forced to stop production. You know they have to be very concerned about the lower sales numbers.

jim July 5, 2017 at 11:28 am

2 things:
The mint is out of control because there is no director of the mint to manage it and take responsibility.
Secondly it is my opinion that the mint should never sell or take orders for any coin beyond its mint date.

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