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There can be several reasons for this phenomenon:

  • A complete set still in Mint packaging may have toned or otherwise degraded coins;
  • Someone collecting a set of a specific denomination rarely wants the entire year set;
  • A single coin can be certified at a higher grade than the rest of the set (sets are rarely certified in their entirety);
  • Some collectors don't want to break up a set, making individual coins rarer.

A proof coin is worth more because it was struck by a custom stamping process. These coins were not minted for circulation, but minted for collectors. The quality of minting is far beyond that of coins minted for circulation.

There is also another reason this happens,, example>>

a 1970-S(san francisco) small date:proof set retails for about $90 dollars..

they take the coins out of the holder and send them to be graded,the coins will most always get the highest grades depending on the grading service used...usually a MS/PR-70 or MS/PR-69 is common.....they then resell each coin the 1970-S small date penny with a red color certified MS69 or MS70 sells for $950.00 for one penny!!!!!

They have paid for the proof set and grading fees for all 6 coins with the sale of the single penny they had graded..................lots and lots of see many single coins on eBay for hundreds even thousands and they have came from a proof set,and are worth 10 times more because they carry the high MS/PR grades................

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Q: Why is a single proof coin worth more than a complete set?
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