Dick Johnson forwarded these thoughts on the new Lincoln cent designs. -Editor With the introduction of the first of four Lincoln Cent reverses somewhat of a fiasco, the public is not impressed with our lowest denomination coin. This despite the U.S. Mint's attempt to resuscitate interest our favorite bronze coin.
It seems the weather prevented distribution of a quantity of the coins in Kentucky, the first state to be featured in the four-start reverses honoring Lincoln's state homesites. For the rest of the country, few banks have the Kentucky-reverse cents on hand. Reason: the pipeline is too full of cents. The Mint delivered the cents to the Federal Reserve but banks, apparently of all sizes, did not place orders for the new cents.
Is there a bank backlash from the overabundance of State quarter issues and Westward Journey nickel issues? With four more fresh coins -- cents this time -- was it more than what the banks wanted to handle?
What did surface was a lot of editorial ink requesting the retirement of the cent. Consensus of editorial writers during the week of the first new Lincoln Cent reverse introduced on Lincoln's birthday seemed to be: "That's nice, now get rid of the cents!"
An Orlando Florida Sentinel editorial said it best:
First things first: We have nothing against Abe Lincoln. Not a thing. But the coin bearing his likeness ought to go.
The government and U.S. Mint no doubt found the idea irresistible to issue four new versions of the penny this year to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the 16th president's birth, and the 100 years since Lincoln's image first graced the 1-cent piece in 1909. But the government next should look to retire it, and the sooner the better.
To read the complete article, see: We think: With apologies to Lincoln, it's time to retire the penny (www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/orl-ed20209feb20,0,2111959.story)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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