2016 Limited Edition Silver Proof Sets: Attractive to the Eye, but Maybe Not the Wallet


(Images courtesy of APMEX.)

On November 25, the Mint will release the 2016 Limited Edition Silver Proof Sets. For clues to the specifics and sales performance of the sets, Mint News Blog takes a look at the past performances of earlier Limited Edition Silver Proof Sets, which debuted in 2012.

Each set from 2012 through 2014 contained the 90% silver Proof versions of that year’s Roosevelt dime, Kennedy half dollar, and five America the Beautiful quarter dollars, along with a Proof strike of the year’s 99.9% fine American Silver Eagle. Although the Mint has made adjustments to the packaging (more on that shortly), the basic package has remained the same: all eight coins encased in a flat, square lens, housed in a premium box with a flip-up lid. The coins stand out beautifully against a black-and-silver background. Each set to date has contained 2.338 troy ounces of silver, and has had a product limit of 50,000.

The first two years of the product went well. The 2012 set debuted on November 27 of that year, with the price set at $149.95 and the household ordering limit set at 2. With silver at $34 an ounce, the melt value of the coins was around $80. Although the coins could be purchased separately for about $30 less than the cost of the set, the premium was deemed acceptable by the public, and nearly 19,300 sets were sold during the first week. The Mint declared the sets sold out five months after their introduction. The final, audited sales figure, according to the Guide Book of United States Coins, was 44,952.

When the 2013 set debuted, silver was down to $19.80 per ounce, and the retail price of the set was established a little lower—although not proportionally so—at $139.95. The silver content was valued at about $46.30, but collectors were still fans of the product, and again the sets were declared sold out after about five months. The last known sales figure from the Mint was 48,074.

The launch of the 2014-dated LESPS was delayed until March 17, 2015, due to issues with the packaging. Silver was down to $15.50 per ounce, bringing the metal value of the sets down to $36.25, yet the price remained the same as the previous year: $139.95. The public responded accordingly, and after eight months, just over 39,000 were reported sold. The sets concluded the year with a last known sales figure of 42,614, after which they were pulled—not for lack of sales, however, but because of an issue that would affect all products containing numismatic Silver Eagles.us-mint-2014-limited-edition-silver-proof-set-obverses

As calendar year 2016 approached, the Mint was once again having issues with the packaging. The release date for the 2015-dated sets had to be put off until November 23. Although silver was down to $13.98 per ounce, the retail price was still intended to be $139.95, which meant the sets would cost more than $100 over their melt value of about $32.70. That was about to become a moot point, however, thanks to a bill working its way toward the president’s desk: the Bullion and Collectible Coin Production and Efficiency Cost Savings Act. One of the provisions of the law was that, during calendar year 2016, all American Silver Eagle Proof and Uncirculated coins would have to carry the legend “30th Anniversary” incused into a plain edge. Whether intentionally or inadvertently, the law applied not only to coins struck with the 2016 date but to all numismatic ASEs sold by the Mint in 2016. The best route for the Mint was to discontinue all products containing 2015 Proof and Uncirculated ASEs after December 31, and to cancel the 2015 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set outright.

The absence of a 2015 set may have stirred a bit of interest in the older sets on ebay, but if it did, the effect was short-lived. Currently, the 2013 and 2014 sets are not performing well, typically selling for about $90 to $120. The 2012 sets fare better, and tend to bring around $200.

In a year full of presidential-election drama, market-watchers have predicted that the election of Donald Trump would drive up bullion values. In the waning days leading up to the polls, market reactions seemed to bear this out. If gold and silver continue their current upward trend, the 2016 LESPS will be a better retail value than its predecessor. Unfortunately, many collectors’ budgets have long since been depleted by the Mint’s 2016 catalog. Unless the premium on the LESPS is extremely low relative to the price of silver, those with money to spend may opt for strictly bullion purchases.

For die-hard fans of Proof sets, however, melt value and aftermarket performance won’t matter. The beauty of the sets—and they are very handsome—means there will be sales. Just maybe not a sellout.   ❒

APMEX stocks all of the previous Limited Edition Silver Proof Sets, along with other U.S. Mint gold and silver coins.

Facebook Twitter Email


  1. Ernesto says

    I’ve never bought any of these sets. Price too high for the value of the coins. Just my opinion.

  2. Mint News Blog says

    Hi @Gary Not Dave: If I know for a fact that an advertiser carries a product, I might drop a link in there. Not always, but sometimes — and in this case it seemed like the courteous thing to do, since the images are theirs.


  3. hawkster says

    According to Coin News, the Mint has already began producing the 2017 Lion’s Club silver dollar proof commemorative coins. I hope they don’t get too far ahead of themselves with inventory, as this unremarkable coin will, in all likelihood, join the ranks of other recent commemorative busts.

  4. Dustyroads says

    cagcrisp says

    November 9, 2016 at 11:24 am

    “@Dustyroads, Your Uncirculated 1 oz. Gold just went over 2012 sales…”

    Not really, I don’t own it.

  5. James Smith says

    If the price of silver goes back up the Mint will raise the inflated price on the silver set.

  6. montana John says

    you should also mention the really bad toning and scratches on the coins..I just saw one sell at auction on ebay for $83.00+ free shipping.

  7. Old Big Bird says

    Did anyone else notice that the Coin Update News Con Collecting News showed the 16XA Walking Liberty Half Dollar with a mintage limit of 30,000. The US Mint has it and has always had it as a mintage limit of 70,00 with a house hold limit of 3? I did post the same comment on their site.

  8. MN Printer says

    I bought one of these sets in 2014 and the quality of the plastic and the coins was so bad I just returned it for a refund.

  9. Mint News Blog says

    @Old Big Bird, I’m happy to report the WLH mintage limit has been corrected. (An honest typo on my part, or a case of wishful thinking?) Guess that’s the downside of adding more information to those charts — more chances to hit the wrong key.

    Anyway, your eagle eye is much appreciated!


  10. fmtransmitter says

    Salzburg at NGC makes good cents. He knows that “other” grading services are not ethical, they are public companies with boards and profit margins. He no longer will allow coins grade by other grading companies to be included and scored in the NGC registry sets. I applaud this move.

  11. fmtransmitter says

    I inspected my LESPS sets and they are flawless on OBV and REV. Despite conspiracy theory, IMHO, these were not taken from returns but simply removed in the plastic holders from the suede boxes and put in the sets in an attempt to reduce excess inventory by end of year. It was also a way to get just silver proofs, which is what “most” collectors wanted anyways, in a nice neat presentation package. The Mint did NOT do much research BEFORE hand when designing the packaging, tried to cut cost on it, and made some “errors” in the process. I think they had good intentions, and there IS a amrket for them, but they need to be priced right and they should consult NGC about what type of plastics to use, or just hire them to make the holders. The packaging doesn’t need to be that big. They have a chance to create a nice unique set here that will sell out if the marketing and packaging is done properly.

    I hope TRUMP sees a need for our coins to reflect his montra of “Making America great again” and we produce the best designs and start winning many COY awards…

  12. fmtransmitter says

    He reminds me of Teddy..Hope and pray he sticks to his guns about what he promised the people. Got to hand it to him, he won fair and square and worked hard. I want a Trump Silver coin now!

  13. cagcrisp says

    Some sources are reporting that Jamie Dimon is being considered for Treasury Secretary.

    Those that hate the Fed will NOT be happy with Jamie Dimon or even the consideration of someone like him. The markets Love even the consideration…

  14. bobo says

    Cag, I sure hope Trump does not choose Dimon, or any of these Wall St. crooks, like Robert Rubin or Larry Summers to be Treasury Secretary. If he does, that would mean to me that he is as corrupt as his opponent, and a false prophet for the little guy who voted him in to protect them from such elitist crooks. I would love to see Ron Paul or David Stockman be the choice instead.

    Here is what the Dems need to learn from their harsh whooping, but probably won’t:

    or better yet:

  15. Dustyroads says

    I may be criticized for saying so but he’s probably well suited for the job, however he doesn’t appear to be interested by what he’s said in the past.

  16. cagcrisp says

    I agree that Dimon will probably not take the job. The thing is that Trump even considered him. There is a reason the Dow has gone from futures down 750 to actually up 500+ points. The financial markets hated the candidate Trump, the financial markets Love the president elect Trump.

    Trump campaigned one way and now is appearing to go 180. I saw a talking head (big Trump supporter) on CNBC that went ballistic on just the mention of Dimon as Sec of Treasury…

  17. cagcrisp says

    @bobo, “I sure hope Trump does not choose Dimon, or any of these Wall St. crooks”

    Just think, you and Elizabeth Warren agree on something…

  18. earthling says

    Lions Club.

    I think Trump Plaza or Trump Towers or Trump whatever would be just as valid as the Lions Club on a Coin.

    Whatever. Just more reason to watch my Bank Balance grow.

  19. Larry says

    You can buy a silver proof set and a Regan C&C set for $121.90, get all the coins in the LESPS, plus a whole bunch of other coins. I see no point to this set, never have.

  20. Dustyroads says

    Choice Bullion has the 1 kilogram Proof Like silver Libertad in a Mahogany box up for pre-order. Mintage is not know at this time, but they typically only make a few hundred and appreciate fairly well.

  21. So Krates says

    Bobo says, “Here is what the Dems need to learn from their harsh whooping”

    The Democratic candidate received MORE votes for President and they picked up two seats in the Senate. Hardly a “harsh whooping.”

    The reality is that the GOP has to rely on disproportional representation, gerrymandering and voter suppression to overcome unfavorable demographics.

  22. gary says

    Predictably, it didn’t take very long for the election to take over this blog. So Krates, methinks you could be shoveling sand against the tide here. You are correct in your statement but I am appalled that you think so little of the noble horse. Why speculate the arrangements of the deck chairs on the Titanic? The “whooping” for Dems & Repubs alike commences in late January. Happy New Year!

  23. Mint News Blog says

    Folks, there’s an interesting opinion piece on the Numismatic News site; I posted a link to it in the sidebar on the home page, in case you might enjoy it.

    Also, it would be better to move on from the political elbowing. I don’t want to be a schoolmarm but I also don’t want the thread to devolve into a bad place. If there’s anymore lowering of the horns and pawing of the dirt, I’ll have to close the thread.

    @Numismatrix, happy Veterans Day to you tomorrow, too! Also, today is the 241st anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Marine Corps.

  24. Dustyroads says

    Mint News Blog says-

    “If there’s anymore lowering of the horns and pawing of the dirt, I’ll have to close the thread.”

    Now wait a minute Diana, those are fighting words, I don’t think we need to go that far, even if it would make managing this blog easier. Many of us have been here far longer than you know. We love this blog, even with it’s contention at times. There has always been a tough commenter or two and we have always worked through it and still remained relatively peaceful in spite. I ask you please, don’t make threats like that unless you really do intend to kill this fun and entertaining thread, which I hope you don’t. Respectfully yours…

  25. a Bob says

    Simple solution, remove the comments that are off topic. Also add a few more key words that will trigger moderation.

  26. So Krates says

    There is no good reason that Election Day shouldn’t be an official Federal Holiday. All banks, markets, and businesses should be closed to facilitate voting by We the People (as depicted on the 1987 dollar)

  27. Tony says

    OT – Anyone interested in the upcoming 2017 50th Anniversary 1 oz. silver and 1 oz. platinum Krugerrands?

  28. earthling says

    Looks like Jackie O. has been knocked off the top of the F.S. heap.

    You could say shes been “Trumped” , as in Melania T.

    Oh how sad for the memory of Jackie O. But oh how great for all us F.S. fans.


  29. Mint News Blog says

    You make a good point, @Dustyroads, and I apologize for bringing up the nuclear option so quickly. It wouldn’t be fair to everyone else to shut down the whole thread, and I wouldn’t do so unless things got seriously out of hand. @a Bob, I’m uncomfortable removing off-topic comments unless they’re frankly cruel or hurtful, or have the potential to start something ugly — feels like being the Thought Police. I’ve removed a few egregious posts in the past (sadly, some were pretty entertaining). It just doesn’t feel like we’re close enough to the line in this case.

  30. Dustyroads says

    I fully understand your mission. It helps me to remember that children may be viewing these comments. Keep up the good work.

  31. So Krates says

    “Looks like Jackie O. has been knocked off the top of the F.S. heap.” – earthling

    I disagree. Between the strange squinting pose and the eye makeup she looks quite artificial IMO. Plus J.K.’s inner poise and class make up for a lot while a heavy foreign accent is detracting. You can tell a lot about a man from his wife(s). Setting aside appearance, some men prefer a strong, capable equal, while others prefer more traditional, deferential types. Compare Hillary and Michelle with Laura, Ivanka, Marla, and Melania.

  32. cagcrisp says

    PM Gold fix is $1,236.45…

    Average for the four fixes is still $1,260.13

    SO…we need to Average $1,241.88 for the remaining fixes for there to be a Gold price decrease next Wednesday…

  33. cagcrisp says

    SO…Whether we get a Gold drop next Wednesday or not, We are on track for a Gold decrease on November 23rd.

    SO…The question would be, IF we do NOT get a Gold price drop next Wednesday, how many will buy the WLH for $890.00 vs. Holding out a week to buy the same coin for $865.00 (assuming Gold stays below $1,250.00).

    How many will Buy Launch Day, wait for numbers to come out to see IF there is a Sell Out and then immediately cancel their order (or return it) if the numbers are favorable to do so?..

    ALSO…with the quick HHL lifting of the SLQ will the big boys/dealers gamble on no sell out (it can NOT happen without them) and wait for a lower pricing + lower shipping because the HHL has been lifted.

    HOW can the Mint prevent some of the possibilities I have mentioned? The Mint could Immediately pull the SLQ and Increase the HHL on the WLH to 10.

    Since neither will happen, we will see just how many will play the game that I have outlined…

  34. Erik H says

    Tony, I’m in for the silver but not platinum. 1 roll for sure, maybe a proof too if the premium isn’t too high.

  35. Erik H says

    So Krates, not to bash anybody’s views but Melania speaks 4 more languages than I do and probably most Americans, I can respect that.

  36. Barry says

    @Tony- I’m in for the silver 2017 Krugerrands. If the mintage is 500k it will be interesting to see if a buying frenzy occurs.

  37. Dustyroads says

    If what you have laid out cag is correct, the WLH is in trouble. As of now though, we are at the mercy of the market trend. You have a better eye for this than I do. My common sense tells me that whether we get a decrease or not, we need solid support from here on out for the best result.

  38. Mint News Blog says

    @Tony regarding the silver and platinum Krugerrands:

    It’s probably old news for any MNB readers, but in case it isn’t, it looks like GovMint and Modern Coin Mart will be the exclusive North American distributors.

    Adding a note at 8 p.m. — Actually, I’m going to post the press release about this, since some readers may not be aware and would have to be reading the comment threads to find the information. Thanks for the nudge, @Tony!

  39. Dustyroads says

    Yeah, the problem with Govmint is that after you buy something from them they begin a barrage of phone calls trying to sell you everything. In addition, you also begin receiving publications which I personally then am compelled to remove any link to me from before throwing away.

  40. Erik H says

    You you don’t like govmint just get them from MCM. Same company and so far no harassment (I do receive more emails than before but it’s about the same as other companies).

  41. IPS_STUFF says

    Been waiting for someone to give some insight on the big drop in metals. @cagcrisp, what is your insight?


  42. cagcrisp says

    @IPS_STUFF, Bond market is closed today, however, both the 10 year and the 30 year have been on fire since the election. Since Trump won AND the Senate and House are both Republicans the feeling is that the infrasturcture that Trump campaigned on will actually get down. IF that happens then you are going to need a great deal of money. More borrowing without increasing the money supply drives interest rates up. With the Dow hitting all time high (Industrials) the Fed once again is looking to raise interest rates in December. IF we continue to raise rates, the world economy could be less worrisome, (Russia and China cooperating with Trump administration) then there is a less emphasis on holding Gold.

    Zero interest rates are not working and that along with Brexit were the two main drivers for Gold in 2016.
    USD is surging which hurts Gold. Possibility of someone LIKE Jamie Dimon as Secretary of Treasury is much more mainstream than many thought and that takes what was campaigned as a dislike for the Fed off the table.

    From my point of view, for THIS week, everything is just lining up against Gold.

    Higher interest rates, Fed rate increase in December, surging stock market, more world cooperation, USD surging, zero interest rates not working, Brexit vote has been extended…take your pick…

  43. IPS_STUFF says

    @Cagcrisp, I just wonder if we are looking at some large waves that will level out in the next week or two

    big moves down in metals
    big moves up in yields and stocks

    They seem a little extreme considering he will not be president for 2 months and even then, I don’t think (but I could be wrong) he has a magic wand.

  44. Dustyroads says

    That’s some good level headed thinking ips_stuff. We should just enjoy the price reduction we may get for the Thursday release.

  45. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says

    My portfolio just thanked me for being an INVESTOR who bought a few bargain stocks ahead of the election and especially, for not being a pure TRADER who sold ALL of their stock holdings ahead of the election and the impressive stock market gains of this week.

    My condolences to any investors who were foolish enough to emulate the knee jerk sell action a trader felt compelled to share on this blog late last week.

    Since posters insist on talking politics as well as finance on this coin blog, I won’t refrain form doing so in this instance either.

    Clinton won the popular vote by more than a hand full of votes, but lost the Electoral College contest.

    If Trump had done the same, many of you would be whining or worse now, and for months, if not years.

    This is the second time in sixteen years that a candidate of the Democratic Party has clearly won the popular vote (the voice of the People?) but failed to become President.

    Republicans will soon no longer have the first black President (a Democrat) to blame for everything they see wrong with the U.S.

    In January, Republicans will control the Presidency, both houses of Congress, and presumably, will fill a Supreme Court vacancy that should have already been filled.

    Republicans need to start working now on their excuses for why all their complaints of the past eight years haven’t been solved to their satisfaction.

  46. says

    Qui Transtulit Sustinet saId:
    … Clinton won the popular vote by more than a hand full of votes, but lost the Electoral College contest. …

    That might have been important if there existed the United Citizens of America. But the US Constitution was conceived as the union of States.

  47. earthling says

    If the US Mint would just do a good job and give us good stuff we’d maybe be singing songs of joy instead of doing whatever it is we’re currently doing. Hopefully our new CICAF / POTUS will put a good mint master in place soon.

    Hopefully Slovenia will give us a First Spouse Coin to eclipse all the F.S. Gold wafers we got over 10 years. I’m looking forward to this one.

  48. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says

    D Rittenhouse said

    “That might have been important if there existed the United Citizens of America. But the US Constitution was conceived as the union of States.”

    Given your history of postings, you don’t qualify as an arbiter of what is important.

  49. says

    Qui Transtulit Sustinet said
    Given your history of postings, you don’t qualify as an arbiter of what is important.

    We always appreciate ad hominem responses because they’re always the most feeble. 🙂

  50. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says


    But…your use of the royal “We” is even funnier than the consistant use of “ad hominem’ by all of your aliases.

  51. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says

    Changed constant to consistent without fully changing the spelling. Hope you got the unimportant idea.

  52. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    Get ready for Dow 25,000 by 2018. Merry Xmas.
    Trump will take our resources from the land fracking, oil pipeline, and not give back not being kind to the environment saying climate change is a hoax.
    The maxim,if you take take take resources without compensating for a clean environment, yes, you can make money money money.
    But we will have drawbacks, more extreme weather, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, hot spells, cold waves and our beautiful land will be wasted.
    We have now fighting in the streets like Greece. Get ready for a civil war.
    I’m buying gold and silver because when we get full-blown civil war, these will be our survival.

  53. .John Q. Coinage says

    Hmmm…not to disturb but as to the LESP it is a scam IMHO. I can’t see the point, proof sets in general are not selling well….next year with .999 silver the silver set will boom, maybe this year is good as the last (?) of 90% AG proofs…..funny 100 years ago we had what now it seen as an openly racist president Democrat in Wilson, and an anti-free or hostile speech POTUS, WW1 Espionage Act still used today…..we’ll see if history repeats itself

  54. says

    It looks like these are in capsules? Is that right?? That would be great if you wanted to remove some for grading and sell the rest.

    The previous ones in that are pressed into cardboard all seem to be badly toned and capsules would probably prevent that: another plus side for the use of capsules.

    and @Barry : The 2017 Silver Krugerrand already has a new limit. Not 500,000 now but 1,000,000. Besides, SAM is notorious for increasing the mintage as soon as they sell out the first low number they start with.
    I wonder how much these will be marked up by dealers? The South African Mint apparently doesn’t sell these to individuals in the US nor do they answer email inquires. Lucky for me I have a personal friend in Joburg that I see here in the US every February and I’ve arranged to get some “premium uncirculated” coins in a pouch for $43 each.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *