Early Proof Sets
The United States Mint resumed offering proof coinage for collectors in 1936. Proof versions of the one cent, five cent, ten cent, twenty five cent, and fifty cent coins were available individually or as part of a complete set. These offerings continued until 1942 when production was suspended for the war. Nonetheless the popularity of the product would lead to its resumption and rapid growth a few years later.
More standardized proof sets were offered beginning in 1950. By this time, the set consisted of the Lincoln Cent, Jefferson Nickel, Roosevelt Dime, Washington Quarter, and Franklin Half Dollar. The coins were only available as part of a complete set offered at a modest price point. Collectors were enthusiastic to receive a complete set of all of the year's coinage in high quality proof format.
During the period from 1950 to 1964, orders and mintages for the annual set spiraled higher. From a staring point of just 51,386 units, the product had reached annual sales of nearly 4 million by 1964.
While many of the later issues are widely available, earlier low mintage years can be more difficult to find an drive quite a premium. Many present day collectors will seek to acquire one example of each of these early proof sets. In some cases, higher grade certified examples of each coin are pursued, although many prefer to find sets in the original government packaging.
On this site you will find US Proof Sets available for sale from 1936 to 1964. Find the date you are looking for by navigating with the menu to the left.