Coins - 2002
The 2002 mint set held 20 uncirculated coins, ten from each mint in Denver and Philadelphia, including the
penny, nickel, dime, half dollar and dollar coins and the five state quarters.
The 2002 mint set included the fourth year of the US Mint's state quarters program and the third year
of the new Sacagawea golden dollar coin.
The 2002 mint set consisted of two envelopes, a red one for the coins minted in Denver and a blue
one for the Philadelphia minted coins. Within each envelope, two Mylar sleeves held the coins. One sleeve held the
five state quarters while the other held the penny, nickel, dime, half dollar and dollar uncirculated coins.
For the 2002 mint set, the US Mint placed images of the panoramas of the mint cities within the
large "2002" on the front of each envelope - Denver on the red Denver envelope and Philadelphia on the blue
In addition, the front of each envelope included "United States Mint" and "Uncirculated Coin
Set." The lower left of the envelope includes the 50 State Quarters logo while the right includes the mint
city with the Treasury Department seal.
Look at how the red and blue highlights are interchanged between the two envelopes with red dominant for
Denver and blue dominant for Philadelphia.
2002 Mint Set Package
The backs of the envelopes in the 2002 mint set reflected the colors associated with each
mint - red for Denver and blue for Philadelphia. The US Mint's web site address on each envelope's flap also
includes a play on color.
The contents of each envelope in the 2002 mint set remained consistent except for
the designs. Two Mylar sleeves held the coins, an insert provided information about the coins, and
an inserted card made it easy to order more sets.
From the top left in the picture below, the Denver portion of the 2002 mint set included the US
Mint's red card describing the Denver uncirculated coins, the red envelope, the red re-order card, the regular
uncirculated coins in the red-edged Mylar and the state quarter uncirculated coins in the black-edged
Similarly, from the top right, the Philadelphia portion of the 2002 mint set contained blue versions of the
materials with the regular uncirculated coins in blue-edged Mylar and the uncirculated state quarters in the
2002 Mint Set Uncirculated Coins
From the obverse (heads) view, the two Mylar sleeves in the 2002 mint set for the Denver minted
coins include the red-edge for the penny, nickel, dime, half dollar and dollar uncirculated coins.
The black-edged Mylar sleeve contained the fourth set of five uncirculated state quarters.
On the right, the dark blue-edged Mylar held the dollar, half dollar, nickel, penny and dime uncirculated coins
from the Philadelphia mint. The white-edged sleeve contained the five uncirculated, Philadelphia-minted state
The separately sealed spaces in each Mylar sleeve protect the uncirculated
coins from each other and from fingerprints. Each space, larger than the coin it holds, allows the
uncirculated coins to move freely while protected.
From the back, the reverse images of the uncirculated coins can be seen through their clear
Mylar protection. The Denver uncirculated coins are on the left with the Philadelphia minted coins on the
2002 Mint Set Insert and Certificate of Authenticity
Each 2002 mint set envelope contained informational inserts. The designs are similar except for
the red and blue colors and the background images for each mint.
The simple front of the inserts shows an image of the eagle from the Great Seal in red or blue
behind the title of the insert.
The red-toned insert belongs to the Denver minted coins with the blue to the Philadelphia uncirculated
Except for the colors and the mention of Denver or Philadelphia, the inside of the inserts in
the 2002 mint set are the same. The inserts discuss the coins included in the set and describe
the fourth year of the 50 state quarters program. The coin specifications for the state quarters
show on the inside.
Denver's insert includes a red font while the Philadelphia was printed in blue.
The back of the two inserts in the 2002 mint set shows the coin specifications of the cent,
nickel, dime, half dollar and dollar uncirculated coins.
The back of both inserts continue with the corresponding red or blue ink.
In the 2002 mint set, the US Mint continued to add a separate card for easily ordering
additional sets. The red and blue envelopes held the red and blue cards respectively. (Note: the cards
are no longer valid, but they help cushion the coins in each envelope.)
The opposite side of the reorder form suggests the collector order more mint sets for friends and
family and includes the instructions for completing and sending the order to obtain more of the 2002
Larger images of the 2002 mint set
inserts show the contents of the inserts and the coin specifications with more detail.
2002 Mint Set Coins and Metals
The coins of the 2002 Mint Set contained the following metals:
Penny: copper-plated zinc, 2.5% copper; 97.5% zinc
Nickel: 25% nickel; 75% copper
Dime: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Quarter: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Half Dollar: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Dollar: manganese-brass clad, 88.5% copper, 6% zinc, 3.5% manganese, 2% nickel
Click on Mint Set Population to view the contents of the sets
through the years. Take a look at the overall Mint Set page to see how the mint
set values compare among the sets across the years.
2002 Mint Set Year - News about Coins and the US Mint
(note: the below links to newspapers open in a new window)
Dealer strikes gold with $6m coin
Independent.ie February 9, 2002
After being arrested six years ago in a New York hotel room by undercover US Secret Service agents, a London coin
dealer will travel to the US this summer for the auction of the rare 1933 Double Eagle. Just as the jury was being
chosen for the trial in Manhattan, the coin dealer and the US government settled out of court.
Texan launders $76,000 pennies at a time
Toledo Blade - February 19, 2002
A tractor trailer with 20 tons of newly minted pennies crashed on its way from Denver to a Federal Reserve bank in
southern Texas. The load of pennies spilled into a roadside ditch. Before they could be retrieved, it rained. The
pennies and mud dried together into a hard dirty mess. Banks won't accept the pennies until they are cleaned. The
trucking company's insurance hired a Lubbock man to store and clean the $7.6 million pennies.
Billions in change stashed, forgotten
The Free Lance-Star - February 24, 2002
Americans collect loose change in jars and sock drawers with an estimated value of $7.7 billion. Though last year,
CoinStar cashed in $1.2 billion in their machines. Some people even throw the loose change away. One study of
garbage in Massachusetts found people in their area throw roughly $8000 in coins away each day.
US Mint cuts back on dollar coin
Kentucky New Era - April 4, 2002
The golden dollar should enjoy widespread circulation by now. But, it's not, and the US Mint won't make any more
for circulation. They will produce the golden Sacagawea dollar coins for collectors.
Why has the 'golden dollar' failed?
St. Petersburg Times - May 18, 2002
In a meeting on Friday, senators listened to explanations of why the golden dollar failed. Banks claim people don't
want them. People claim they haven't seen them. Others say the dollar coin won't succeed without removal of the
New nickel finding few fans in commonwealth
The Free Lance-Star - June 13, 2002
The proposed facelift for the more-than-60-year-old Jefferson nickel finds opposition from the Virginia members of
Congress. Mint spokesman said that the proposed design is part of an idea to redesign all US circulating coin in
the upcoming years.
US Mint employees charges in theft, sale of 5 flawed coins
Reading Eagle - June 14, 2002
Two employees in the Philadelphia Mint were charged with stealing and selling five rare Sacagawea golden dollars
that were stamped incorrectly. Just two years ago in 2000, another Mint employee was caught and prosecuted for
stealing and selling error coins.
World's rarest coin, 1933 Double Eagle, fetches $7.59 million at auction
Gettysburg Times - July 29, 2002
Per the director of the US Mint, Henrietta Holsman Fore, the auctioned 1933 Double Eagle is now "the most valuable
coin in the world." The coin was sold Tuesday for $7.59 million - believed to be the most ever paid for a coin at
auction - to an anonymous bidder.
Mint says it may be time for change
The Vindicator - September 9, 2002
The US Mint is exploring a coin makeover for all of the circulating coins except for the quarter. Their efforts
respond to complaints from experts and collectors that our coins are boring and the designs stagnant. At this
point, the Mint considers changes to the designs, not the sizes, shapes or metal content.
Americans prefer paper to coin dollars
The Post and Courier - September 14, 2002
While the Mint's initial marketing of the golden dollar built awareness, the General Accounting Office reports the
golden dollar has failed to achieve widespread circulation. Statistics from the US Mint show people use the coin in
just one percent of transactions.
Most never use the new dollar coin
Reading Eagle - December 19, 2002
Despite a three-year, $67.1 million marketing campaign by the US Mint, people prefer the dollar bill to the dollar
coin. Seventy percent of people know of the coin, but only 5% have used them at a cash register and 2% in a vending
The news during the 2002 Mint Set Year varied widely from theft to a rare coin record sale and discussions about
new circulating coin designs along with the lack of dollar coin acceptance - again.