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Orders for 1999 Proof sets are now being accepted by the United States Mint. The ordering period opened May 21.

This year's set contains nine coins, including Proof versions of all five 1999 Washington quarters -- the first five issues in the ongoing series of 50 statehood quarters. All of the Proof coins are being struck at the San Francisco Mint with an "S" mint mark.

The coins are being housed in two separate plastic cases -- one holding the five quarters and the other holding the four remaining coins: the Lincoln cent, Jefferson nickel, Roosevelt dime and Kennedy half dollar. These cases are being inserted into specially printed sleeves and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. The issue price of the set is $19.95, and there is a limit of two sets per household.

The Mint is also offering a Proof set containing only the five statehood quarters. This is priced at $13.95 and also became available on May 21. The 1999 quarters carry designs honoring the first five states to ratify the U.S. Constitution: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut. Here again, there is a limit of two sets per household.

For the first time in history, the Mint is assessing a charge for postage and handling on mail orders for the 1999 Proof sets. A flat fee of $3.95 per order -- not per set -- is being imposed. The fee is $3.95 regardless of whether a customer is ordering just one set or the maximum of four (two of each type).

The extra charge will not be assessed on orders placed on line through the Mint's website. However, it will not accept orders at that site until June 15. Until then, Proof sets and sets of five Proof quarters can be ordered only by mail.

Later this year, the Mint plans to offer silver versions of both Proof sets, as well as uncirculated coin sets -- better known to collectors as "mint sets."

For additional information or to be placed on the Mint's mailing list, contact the United States Mint Customer Care Center at 202-283-2646. The Mint's mail-order address is 10003 Derekwood Lane, Lanham, MD 20706.

U.S. Mint News Modern Coins