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What is it About That Lincoln Set?
November 04, 2009

I just received an e-mail from a reader who said until the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles set came along he had not ordered anything from the U.S. Mint for years.

“This set is superb and flawless. The set design is very impressive. I was ready to abandon coin collecting for many of the same reasons your readers have expressed in the last few months. This experience may change my mind.”

It is certainly impressive when one single issue grabs you and pushes you to an action that is the very opposite of what you have been contemplating.

What precisely was it about this set that got his attention? He didn’t say.

He could have ordered the proof Lincoln commemorative dollar by itself last March. He could have ordered the proof Lincoln cents as a set in August.

It took the combination to get him off dead center.

Was it the 50,000 number? Could it simply be the allure of something that might be scarce?

Packaging perhaps?

We will never really know. Every collector is different, yet every collector is the same. Something just gets under our skin so that we have to act.

Putting a collection together is simply acting again and again.

I wish him well in reconnecting with whatever it was that got him into the hobby in the first place. The Lincoln set is a wonderful first step in a walk back down that road.

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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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