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Do Lincolns and Patience go Together?
February 17, 2009

Have you held a new Lincoln commemorative cent in your hand? Most of haven't. I haven't, either.

I have been reading online reports about normal coin distribution channels being backed up because of the recession. That is normal.

What isn't normal is the fact that we have a new cent design for the first time in 50 years, and not without reason, collectors and others would like to acquire some.

I read Mint News blog yesterday ( and it noted that premium prices are being paid for rolls of the new coins on eBay. Some have even been stamped and postmarked on the official day of release.

Any buyers of these rolls should watch out. The premium will disappear.

I am reminded of the fad of the Bicentennial in 1976. The then new $2 Federal Reserve Note with the Signing of the Declaration of Independence on the back was used by some collectors as a new postmarked collectible.

Stamps were affixed to the note and then postmarked on significant dates. Some premium prices were paid for them, but since we did not have eBay then the prices paid were not terribly out of line.

Collectors of these postmarked notes after a time ended up with $2 bills worth face value.

However, because the initial costs were fairly low, the loss to buyers was not particularly great.

With these new Lincoln cents, I image most buyers will not lose much either unless they think they are cornering the market.

When the large supplies hit regular banking channels, there will be plenty for everybody who wants them at reasonable prices.

If you are anxious to acquire the new Lincoln cents, you are not alone. But have a little patience and you will be satisfied at either face value from a local bank or at a reasonable mark-up from your neighborhood coin dealer.

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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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