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Cent Production Falls, but Birth Design Still Scarcest
October 15, 2009



Mintage figures have come my way and I can figure how the race to be the scarcest 2009 Lincoln cent is shaping up.

Production of the Professional Life Lincoln cent, the third of four designs this year, dropped off from the total achieved by the Formative Years design, but not by enough to threaten the position of the Philadelphia Birth cent as the lowest mintage of the 2009 Lincoln cents so.

Philadelphia cranked out 316 million of the Professional Life design. This was low enough to slide it into second scarcest status behind the 284.4 million Birth cents struck by Philadelphia.

Denver’s 336 million output of the Professional Life cents puts this coin third on the scarcity list.

Fourth place is currently held by the 350.4 million Denver Birth cents.

Fifth place is held by the 363.6 million Denver Formative Years cents.

Sixth place is held by the 376 million Philadelphia Formative Years cents. This, obviously is the most common of the commemorative designs so far.

Two more entries in the scarcity sweepstakes will be added when we know the output numbers for the fourth cent design of the year, the Presidency.

Combined output for the Birth design was 634.8 million. This rose to 739.6 million for the Formative Years and then fell to 652 million for the Professional Life design.

With production of the third design falling from the level of output for the second design, perhaps one of the fourth designs will have a low enough mintage to displace the P-mint Birth cent as the lowest mintage of the year.

For that news, though, we have to wait until production concludes for the year.



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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, Bank Note Reporter 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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