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How Many Sets Will Be Sold?
August 21, 2009

Are you pawing the ground to get your order in to the U.S. Mint for the four-coin set of 2009 Lincoln cents when they become available next week on Aug. 26?

The price is just $7.95 each, making it one of the most affordable offerings this year.

However, there are only four cents in the set. If you figure the relationship of face value to price, you get a staggering 198.75 times face value - and that is without figuring in the $4.95 per order handling charge.

Will anyone be making that calculation?

Who am I to ask?

I didn't think that so many people would think $8.95 was too much to ask for a two-roll set of Lincoln cents. Now I know better.

Perhaps mollifying that crowd is the fact that the cents in the set will be made of the historical bronze alloy that was used in 1909. That is 95 percent copper and five percent tin and zinc.

Even Alan Herbert, who is a purist in his description of bronze in his Coin Clinic column, will be happy with the return of the historical alloy as opposed to the more recently used 95 percent copper five percent zinc alloy that is brass.

See, Alan? You have managed to teach me something after all these years.

But now I have to go figure out how many sets of those proof bronze cents I want next 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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