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How Much is That in Twinkies?
September 01, 2010

The 2010 silver proof set went on sale last week. When I saw the price of $56.95, I was mentally stopped in my tracks.

It seemed high.

The clad 2010 proof set is priced at $31.95.

That seems high to me, too.

This is not a criticism of the Mint’s pricing policy. My reaction is a product of the passage of time.

Every once in a while the prices from the past come bounding out of my brain and I react to them.

The first proof set I ever purchased from the Mint was the 1969. It cost $5. I was eager to buy it even though the old-timers of the period considered that price high.

They were comparing it to the $2.10 price for the 1964 set.

Because of my experience, I will never shake that first memory. I don’t want to. It is a part of my past, but it does make me do a mental translation process where I ask myself if this is a reasonable price given what I know about conditions in the year 2010.

I do this in grocery stores also. Every so often the price of Twinkies will jump out of my childhood. That 12 cents for a package of two is forever engraved in my memory.

With that as a yardstick, there is no way that the current price can look anything but high.

The trick with the proof sets is thinking about what collectors in 2021 will think of the price of the 2010 silver proof set. They will need it to complete their silver set of America the Beautiful quarters. To them, the present issue price probably will look like a bargain.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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