Availability of the 2013 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set ended Thursday, May 1, 2014 when the United States Mint tagged the product as "sold out." U.S. Mint reporting last had sales of it at 48,074 of the 50,000 limit*.
This set is one of the Mint’s premier products with extra attention and expense in the packaging to show off the 8 proof coins. There are pros and cons with the presentation, but more about that later.
Released on Dec. 12, 2013 and priced at $139.95, the set includes the 99.9% pure 2013-W Proof Silver Eagle and the 90% silver 2013-S Kennedy half-dollar, five 2013-S America the Beautiful Quarters, and the 2013-S Roosevelt dime.
Many who purchased this set knew they could get the same silver coins for about $31 less by combining other U.S. Mint products that also had them. But those products lack the visual pop and premier feel of the Limited Edition Silver Proof Set. And now, let’s talk a bit about that.
First, let me premise everything by stating I’m not super fond of presentation cases unless I’m giving a coin as a gift. My choice would be to order coins without the extra fixings. With that said, the 8 silver coins contrasted within the packaging of the 2013 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set is pretty impressive. I was happy I bought it.
For those who didn’t order one, the proof coins are in a single protective lens that’s within a flip-open presentation case. That case is held inside an outer box which itself is placed in a sturdy sleeve. These are all high-quality items.
If you leave the case out for easy viewing, everything is great. But there are downsides in storing these premiere products with the cool cases — they take more space in your safe and you’ll spend some unwrapping time in getting to your coins. As the years go by and you get more, it becomes somewhat of a job to pull your collection out and enjoy it.
Packaging for this year’s Limited Edition Silver Proof Set is different than when the first one debuted in 2012. The Mint notes it was improved to "better secure the coins in the set and protect the lenses." Both are true. To protect the lens, a saran wrap-like plastic covers the front and back. You’ll want to peel these off as they really detract from the wow factor.
The lens is easy to open, perhaps too easy for some. Normally I don’t go there but, and I assume my set was an exception, there were smudges on the back of the lens that looked terrible. At first I thought they came from glue on the wrapping but soon realized they were inside. Fortunately, they wiped away easily. The coins, by the way, popped even more when looking at them without the lens in the way.
One last note… The 2013 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set included a small piece a paper along with a standard Certificate of Authenticity. It noted that any gray smudges on the sleeve or box can be wiped clean easily with a soft dry cloth or tissue, adding that it was not a defect and the "product does not need to be returned for replacement for this condition."
*This article originally listed set sales at 48,111. It was changed to 47,971 based on final U.S. Mint sales figures (unaudited).