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An Impression and the Latest Cent Sales
May 27, 2009

The second Lincoln cent design of 2009 seems to be making it into the hands of the public much faster than the first design did.

That is my impression. I do not have a national survey to report on this.

What I do have are anecdotal reports of receipt of the Formative Years design by collectors in Dallas, Texas, and Puerto Rico. The latter location was also fortunate in the first release.

However, it has been less than two weeks since the formal introduction of the Formative Years design in Lincoln City, Ind. It took much longer for this type of report to reach me after the first release in February.

What I also detect is a greater anxiety level among collectors. They are much more attuned to the second cent release than they were to the first. This is perhaps due to the all the excitement they witnesses the first time and a desire not to miss it the second time.

For some, this anxiety is almost becoming bitter. It is as if they were invited last to a party and they knew it. Now all they can do in the revelry is complain that they were the last to arrive.

I think we should just enjoy it. When I was a young collector in the 1960s I marveled at how fortunate the collectors of the 1907-1916 period were with all the beautiful new designs.

What I learned along the way was that many collectors of the envied time did not appreciate what was going on as it was occurring, with the major exception of the Lincoln cent because of the prominent V.D.B. initials.

When collectors look back on the present time in 2060, are they going to see a hobby enjoying an exciting time to be collectors, or will the overwhelming evidence be that we couldn't take it?

Collectors of the future, of course, will have the advantage of final sales and mintage numbers while we are waiting week to week. The current Lincoln two-roll set sales figure is 222,826, up almost 23,000 since last week.

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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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