U.S. Coin Price Guide

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2009 Cent Prices High
By Al Doyle

Enthusiasm for 2009 Lincoln, Childhood cents continues to run high, and prices are often a case of what buyers are willing to pay.

Coin World readers and other savvy collectors know the U.S. Mint is offering two-roll sets of 50-piece rolls of Philadelphia and Denver Mint cents at $8.95, a price that some collectors say is unreasonably high. The $4.95 shipping fee remains the same regardless of the size of the order, so larger purchases will have a lower average cost than the $6.90 per roll total for the roll sets.

Finding the first of the four reverses on 2009 Lincoln cents for face value at banks is very much a hit or miss proposition, with few success stories even among veteran coin dealers.

Using the Mint's price as a guideline, it is interesting to observe what these new coins are bringing on eBay.

Shoppers can bid on everything from single pieces to 50-roll boxes at eBay. Bulk buyers should be getting a much lower per-unit price than those who want a coin or two, but often, successful eBay bidders could have saved money by obtaining their Lincoln cents from a coin shop or the Mint.

More than a few vendors were drawing bids for Mint-wrapped rolls at prices ($11 to $15 each, postage paid) well above what the same coins would cost elsewhere. Despite the Mint's efforts, many novices are unaware of other sources for coins besides eBay and cable television shopping shows.

Cent rolls encased in generic paper wrappers often sell for prices similar to rolls the Mint sells in special wrappers.

A fair number of 2009 certified cents now are available, and prices are all over the map. Four cents graded Mint State 66 by Professional Coin Grading Service with a special "first day of issue" label sold for $96.99, $103.76, $104.05 and $127.50 from March 22 to 24. Aside from the date of release, nothing is special about these coins.

While such a grade would be considered lofty for older coppers, the MS-66 red designation is typical for a newly struck Lincoln cent. Curiously, a slabbed MS-66 red 2009 Lincoln, Childhood cent with a large carbon spot on the obverse was bid to $70 shortly before that sale closed.

Although a few minor die cracks have been found on the Childhood cents, to date no significant errors have been discovered.


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