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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 18, April 30, 2006, Article 19

THE LAST HURRAH FOR THE LINCOLN CENT

Dick Johnson writes: "Last week I predicted there would be no
Lincoln cents struck in 2010. Strong economic forces are driving
this decision. The costs of the metal composition alone --
irrespective of the striking costs -- of a cent coin will be so
overwhelming by then that it would be foolish for the U.S.
government to underwrite continued striking, and losing, even
a fraction of a cent for each coin. Unless the government wants
to make cents in nonmetallic form -- "How to you want those Ma'am,
paper or plastic?" -- Americans must face the fact the cent is
destined to be abolished.

The bright spot is already passed into law. There will be four
different commemorative reverses of the Lincoln cent in 2009
honoring the four locations in Abraham Lincoln's life -- Kentucky,
Indiana, Illinois and the District of Columbia. This is to honor
the bicentennial of the birth of Lincoln -- and the centennial of
the Lincoln cent itself. These special reverse cents should be
coins for circulation, much like the recent Lewis & Clark reverses
of the Jefferson nickel.

To make a spectacular departure from America's family of denominations,
the 2009 Lincoln cents with four reverses should be struck in something
special -- perhaps precious metals -- silver and gold! Imagine the
charm of a silver cent and the uniqueness of a gold penny! Each with
four different reverses. THESE coins should be the commemorative cents.
These could be coins with a surcharge. These could be sold to
collectors for the spectacular final issuance of Lincoln cents.

It will be like the finale of a musical program or the fireworks
display at the end of July 4th! A grand finale!

When the public was asked for commemorative Lincoln cent design
plans back in 2004 E-Sylum had a string of readers' comments.
E-Sylum reader Gary Dunaier suggested the Lincoln cent be issued
with the original Victor Brenner models of 1909. The original obverse
and reverse, from galvanos of Brennerís original design. (The galvanos
still exist!) Hereís what I wrote (vol 7, no 28, article 10):

"I also would like to see Brenner's reverse with his name signed in
full in script like on the original 1909 model for the 2009 Cent.
Great Idea, Gary! Can we carry your idea one step further? Can only
484,000 cents be struck at San Francisco -- with "S" mintmark obviously
-- this was, of course, the original 1909 mintage. And 27,995,000
struck at Philadelphia. And unlimited striking at the Denver Mint
(since it didn't strike any cents until 1911)."

Can anyone at the U.S. Mint say "collector friendly"?"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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