March 12th, 2010

2010 Lincoln Cent Values

Last month, the U.S. Mint officially launched the 2010 Lincoln cent. A special ceremony was held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) for the release of the “Preservation of the Union” cent.

These coin launches are always big events. The local media is often present. Kids 18 and younger receive the new coin, and adults exchange their own money for new rolls. A town hall meeting-style Q and A usually takes place, too. As part of this ceremony, a satellite feed of B-roll of the new Lincoln cent being produced was available at two different times.

But before then, as early as mid-January, the new cents were already appearing in online auctions. The first sellers promised rolls of the new cents, obtained at exchange ceremonies like the one in Springfield, Illinois. Prices ran anywhere from $25 for one roll from the D.C. ceremony, to $35 if the roll came from Springfield.

Sellers also guaranteed that each 50-coin roll would be stamped with a commemorative Lincoln postage stamp and canceled by that city’s local post office on the day of release.

I’m no math whiz, believe me, but that means that buyers at the high end were paying up to 70 cents for each coin. They’re also banking on the 2010 cent’s collectibility—with the complete roll and proof of release on launch day—being high.

Collectors have seen these elevated prices before. Recently. Like with last year’s Lincoln cents. Those 2009s are going for anywhere from $3.30 to $5—for all four designs w/ the stamps.

Dips like that sort of make you feel like the lowly cent really is worth nothing. Maybe the question shouldn’t be, “What’s it worth?” Maybe it should be, “What’s it worth to you?”

Still need affirmation? Take at look at Need a Penny, Take a Penny,  about a place where the cent is priceless.

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