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Clamor for Cents Begins Tomorrow
May 13, 2009

Tomorrow is the big day. The second Lincoln cent design of 2009 will be introduced in southern Indiana.

Interest continues to build in the affair because individuals will be able to obtain up to six rolls of the new cents for face value.

The cost of $3 can be multiplied in value because dealers will be on hand to offer premium prices to those who get them. How high these prices will go tomorrow is a good question because I have been made aware that multiple dealers and other individuals will be on hand to buy coins from individual attendees who get their allotted share.

Minimum purchase is two rolls at a cost of $1. Maximum is six rolls that would cost $3.

Anyone who takes the minimum tomorrow will pass up the opportunity to make an immediate profit. I don't see anyone willingly taking the minimum.

The greater likelihood seems to be a large crowd and a rapid depletion of the cent supplies on hand. We'll see.

The Mint has given itself wiggle room by noting in its most recent statements that the limits are subject to change.

Members of the crowd probably would likely get a little testy if when they arrive they are told that they can buy fewer than six rolls.

In a roundabout way this is good news. Cents haven't gotten much respect in recent years. Many or even most people won't pick a cent off the street or sidewalk if they see one.

I still think of serendipitous finds of this kind as "lucky pennies."

Those who are able to buy rolls tomorrow will undoubtedly find them lucky if they define the term as being worth more than face value.

How high will their values go online and elsewhere? That will depend, I suppose, on how many coins are acquired by dealers and others whose sole purpose will be to sell them as fast as possible.

More coins in those hands will have the effect of holding prices down, because they will be competing against each other to sell them and buyers will have many offers to choose from or lots to bid on.

Still, somebody will complain about how events unfold tomorrow. That is the price of success.

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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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