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Collecting Lincoln Cents

With almost 40 years of production, the Lincoln Memorial cent has provided its collectors with a number of historic coins. For those who have checked their change and regularly studied circulating Lincoln cents, there have also been a number of pleasant surprises in the form of doubled dies, large and small dates and varieties.

Although a complete Lincoln Memorial cent collection may not currently be an expensive undertaking, that is the case with virtually any current coin, just as 1877 Indian cents were modestly priced in 1878.

Some might doubt that there are coins in the Lincoln Memorial cent series of such potential, but there are already some very interesting signs in the case of what many would consider common dates.

An examination of the prices of uncirculated Lincoln cent rolls turns up indications that Lincoln Memorial reverse cents have a strong future. Beginning with the 1969 Lincolns from Philadelphia, it is not that unusual to find rolls of uncirculated Lincolns selling for between 4 and 10 times their face value. There are even a number of rolls from the late 1980s selling at four times face value.

It has long been felt that people have been ignoring issues since 1965 and that there may not be adequate supplies of nice examples for future generations of collectors. That appears to have some truth, as there has to be a supply shortage for rolls less than a decade old to be bringing four times face value and in the case of the 1984-D, almost $10 for 50 cents in uncirculated 1984-D Lincolns.

Whether the 1984-D will emerge as the key date of modern Lincoln Memorial reverse cents remains to be seen, but clearly the market is suggesting that the 1984-D and a number of other fairly recent dates have solid potential for both collectors and investors in the years ahead.

The prospect is a very real one that one day today's seemingly common Lincoln Memorial reverse cents will be viewed with as much interest and desire as collectors of today might view a large cent collection.

Submitted by:

David McLain

David McLain



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