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Still Collect Lincolns?
June 20, 2008

I never found a 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent in the coins I searched during the circulation finds era in the middle 1960s. I didn't find a 1914-D, 1931-S, or even the lesser 1910-S, 1911-S, 1912-S or 1914-S.

The 1915-S I found was so awful looking that the sense of accomplishment I had at filling the hole in the Whitman album was almost overcome by the knowledge that no other collector would ever want it.

But then at my age and budget, much of the fun was in the Bingo approach to coin collecting. Keep filling those holes and the rest would take care of itself.

I tired of looking for Lincolns. The lack of anything interesting was pretty obvious and as soon as my paper route budget could get me the funds to finance searches of the higher denominations, I had much more fun and the searches were somewhat more fruitful.

All of these Lincoln memories are starting to come back as I look at the calendar and begin thinking about its centennial year next year.

Nostalgia among collectors will be high. While all collectors basically know that most of their fellow hobbyists began with Lincoln cents, the question remains how many actually stayed with Lincoln cents?

Those albums that I filled and partially filled in the 1960s I still have, though I haven't purchased a single individual Lincoln cent since I splurged for a BU 1931-S in 1969. The exceptions, of course, are the cents I get as part of the proof sets and mint sets I usually buy from the Mint.

Am I still a Lincoln cent collector? Are other collectors in the same boat? If a pollster asked them if they collected Lincoln cents and they hadn't found or bought one in many years but still retain the old albums, would they answer yes or no?

Give it some thought. Are you still collecting Lincoln cents?

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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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