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Lincoln Cent Distribution Widens
July 21, 2009

I had lunch yesterday with Cliff Mishler, Fred Borgmann and his wife Kathy. The conversation is always interesting when we get together.

Fred retired from Krause Publications two years ago and Cliff, who was once CEO of Krause, is about to become the president of the American Numismatic Association.

Kathy at one point opened her purse and said that she had gotten one of the new Formative Years Lincoln cents. She handed it to me, saying, "I want you to have this."

I looked immediately at the date side. It was a 2009 Philadelphia issue.

Observing what was going on, Cliff interjected that he had just gotten one of the new cents also and had put it in his next Numismatic News columns.

Earlier that morning Lisa Bellavin had come to work with the news that she had received one of each of the new cent designs, the Birthplace and the Formative Years, when she was at Plymouth, Wis., over the weekend.

Even though I have not yet personally received one of these commemorative cents in my own change, I can take note of what is going on around me.

It would seem that the new coins are definitely making it into circulation. That's a good thing for all those collectors who have been patiently awaiting release in their areas.

Wisconsin is not exactly at the forefront of new coin issuance, and Iola is not even in the running. Our local bank actually generates more coins in its business than it needs, so unless there is a special effort, as was the case with the first Presidential dollar, new coins will arrive in Iola only when they find their way here through use.

I am sure there are still people like me who are awaiting that moment when they receive their first new cent. I know it will happen. The only question is will anyone besides myself still be interested when it finally does?

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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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