The United States Mint announced new pricing for its three most popular annual sets for 2017. They look attractive at multi-year lows, but that appeal loses some luster when remembering that the sets have fewer dollars.
Last year marked the end of the Presidential $1 Coin Program so this year’s proof, silver proof, and uncirculated sets have from 3 to 6 fewer coins. The new price changes include:
- 2017 Proof Set for $26.95.
- 2017 Silver Proof Set for $47.95.
- 2017 Mint Set for $20.95.
Compared to last year’s products, both proof sets have 3 fewer dollars and their prices fell by $5. The uncirculated mint set has 6 fewer dollars and its price dropped by a matching $6.
Let’s look back further to 2006 when sets last held the same type and number of coins. The 2017 Silver Proof Set is $10 higher than its companion from 2006 while the 2017 Proof and Mint Sets are each $4 more than those from 2006.
Are these price increases reasonable?
Before answering, we should compare them with average gains of goods and services across the country. To do that, let’s adjust them for inflation since inflation has advanced a cumulative 19.1% in the last decade alone. By that measure, the
- 2006 Proof Set would be $27.32, compared to its issue price of $22.95, or 37 cents more than this year’s set.
- 2006 Mint Proof Set would be $20.18, compared to its issue price of $16.95, or 77 cents less than this year’s set.
- 2006 Silver Proof Set would be $45.18, compared to its issue price of $37.95, or $2.77 less than this year’s set.
Silver Proof Sets climbed the most in dollars, though each has 1.338 ounces of silver to consider in yet another light. The London fixing for silver was $9.91 an ounce on Jan. 31, 2006. It’s now trading 76.6% higher at $17.50 an ounce — easily topping the same-time inflation increase of 19.1%. Today, the U.S. Mint is getting hit harder on what it’s having to pay for silver blanks, which obviously factors into their pricing structure.
The U.S. Mint is yet to announce release dates for the three annual sets.