In response to a nationwide shortage of coinage, the Treasury Department announced that no proof set or mint sets would be produced for collectors. In their place, so-called Special Mint Sets were issued featuring examples of each denomination carrying a finish superior to the standard circulation strikes, but not up the quality of proof coinage.
The 1965 Special Mint Set (Buy on eBay) contained the Kennedy Half Dollar, Washington Quarter, Roosevelt Dime, Jefferson Nickel, and Lincoln Cent. The standard composition of the traditionally silver coins was changed starting this year. Rather than the previous 90% purity, the half dollar was struck in 40% silver. The dime and quarter had the silver content removed completely and were struck in coper-nickel clad composition.
The five coins of the set were produced at the San Francisco Mint, although as with all coinage issued for this year mint marks were not used.
The sets were issued for a price of $4.00 each, which was up considerably from the previous issue price of the mint sets and proof sets issued in previous years. Despite the higher price tag, collectors would order 2,360,000 of the sets.
Packaging consisted of the five coins and a blue mint token sealed in a single plastic cellophane wrap. This was protected between two pieces of cardboard and placed within a white envelope with a notation of the contents.
With regards to special mint set coins, collectors pay particular interest to any coins which display cameo contrast. Such examples are in the distinct minority and command significant premiums.
1965 Special Mint Set Information
Coins Per Set: 5
Face Value: $0.91
Original Issue Price: $4.00