Lincoln Rail Splitter Pennies Sold in Four Days
By Mike Unser
Blazing past all
expectations, collectors purchased more than
400,000 rolls of the 2009 Lincoln Rail Splitter
cent in just four days, the latest United States
Mint sales figures show.
The Mint launched the coin Thursday to an
excited public. On the same day, two-roll sets —
one roll of 50 coins for the United States Mint
at Philadelphia and one roll of 50 coins for the
United States Mint at Denver — went on sale for
$8.95. Or, perhaps more clearly, for 8.95 cents
As of Sunday, the Mint said 200,055 of the
two-roll sets have sold for a total of 400,110
rolls, adding up to more than 20 million
A staggering level that greatly outshines the
very impressive performance of the first Log
Cabin cent where 96,000 sets were sold in less
than two weeks. To be fair, the Mint
unexpectedly stopped selling those rolls, and
that helped create further excitement for the
second launch. And, obviously, the sales limit
was greatly increased for the new cent.
The public, and collectors specifically,
apparently had little objections in paying
premiums for the rolls. In running the numbers
and discounting shipping, the Mint has grossed a
whopping $1.79 million ($8.95 x 200,055) for the
pennies so far.
For the Mint’s part, a clear motivation was
getting more pennies out to a demanding public.
And to the Mint’s credit, they have not shut
down sales of the coins. The action may help
reduce Lincoln coin prices overall. After the
first 2009 log cabin cent launch, prices for the
pennies in the secondary market went (and are)
much higher than original Mint prices.
Check out current eBay auctions for Rail
Splitter pennies. Will these prices decline when
everyone learns 20 million were sold by the Mint
in four days? Or, will it just add to the
excitement? For sure, the longer and the amount
of sets the Mint continues to sell will have a
greater impact on prices.