Coin Series and Coin Sets: Techniques for Collecting Coins

As a collector, you’re going to see many coin series and coin sets. Here, we’ll take a look at the differences between a set and a series as well as what makes each appealing as coin collecting techniques.

What’s the Difference Between a Coin Series and a Coin Set?


Essentially, a coin series is the complete run of a type of coin. For example, the American Silver Eagle is a coin series. It includes all varieties of the American Silver Eagle like uncirculated, proof, burnished, and special issues. A complete coin series typically has a large number of coins due to the length of time that the series spans.

A coin set can exist within a series. Sticking with the American Silver Eagle, several special anniversary coin sets have been released by the U.S. Mint. These complete coin sets are sold as a package deal when they are initially offered. A coin set may even be made of coins from multiple series. Some sets are offered for special occasions, while others are released on an annual basis.

Why Collect a Coin Series?


There are many benefits to collecting a specific series of coins. Perhaps the most notable benefit is that with an ongoing series, you have the opportunity to add new specimens to your collection as they are released. The America the Beautiful coin series is a perfect example. It was released over a number of years and each year brought several new designs. Each design brought multiple new specimens, such as proof quarters, uncirculated quarters, and 5 oz. silver coins. This all adds up to plenty of new releases to keep up with. When you collect a series this way, you build your collection quickly while also getting to enjoy the excitement of new releases.

Why Collect a Coin Series?Why Collect a Coin Series?

Why Collect a Coin Set?


Coin sets tend to have a specific theme. They may have all of a single year’s releases from a long-running series, or the coins may have a special finish or composition. A coin series can keep you on your toes for years, while a coin set can add something extra special to your collection right away.


Coin proof sets and uncirculated coin sets can be expected from the U.S. Mint each year. There are also other sets offered by the U.S. Mint, such as Presidential dollar coin sets. The U.S. Mint alone offers a variety of sets each year.


For more information about U.S Proof Sets, read this Info-Vault article, "Everything You Need To Know About Proof Sets."

Why Collect a Coin Set?Why Collect a Coin Set?

How to Choose a Coin Series to Collect?


There are several factors to consider when choosing a new coin series. Are you looking for something that will take a while or something that can be completed quickly? Cost is another major factor. Are top quality coins from that series within range for your budget? Of course, the series itself should be interesting as well. With all these considered, it’s easy to pick the right series.


Buying Coin Sets from the U.S. Mint


Buying proof coin sets and uncirculated coin sets from the U.S. Mint is easy. You can buy U.S. Mint coins directly, or you can purchase through distributors. Which option is better depends on your preferences and if you already to plan to make a purchase at one or the other.


U.S. Classic Commemorative Coins vs. U.S. Modern Commemorative Coins


The U.S. Mint’s modern commemorative program began in 1982. There were several decades where no commemorative coins were struck by the U.S. Mint, and prior to that there were classic U.S. commemorative coins. Like other collectible coins, commemorative coins’ values vary. Some commemorative coins are very valuable and others are more readily available. For example, the Apollo 11 commemorative coins were released in 2019 and can still be found on the market. Many classic U.S. commemorative coins can be a challenge to find today.

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