In 1947, the United States Mint introduced a packaged product containing each of the year’s coins. This provided a convenient and cost effective way for collectors to obtain uncirculated examples of each coin released for circulation. Over time, the popularity of the product would grow, however the earliest sets were produced and ordered in small numbers.
During the years from 1947 to 1958, mint sets were packaged in cardboard holders with paper flaps attached. Two examples of each coin were included in each set, so that both the obverse and reverse would be visible without removing them from the holders. This leads some to refer to the sets of this era as “double mint sets.”
The style of packaging is known for imparting distinctive or colorful toning to coins which have remained in the original holders and envelopes. With the advent of third party grading, many of these coins were taken out of sets and submitted for grading.
Production levels for mint sets during this era remained very low, as many collectors opted instead for the packaged proof sets. Due to the fact that original production was low and the number of sets broken up over the years, many of these sets can be difficult to find.