Five Thousand Want Cent
By Numismatic News
third 2009 Lincoln cent design marking the 16th
President's Professional Life was introduced to
the public formally Aug. 13 at the Old State
Capitol in Springfield, Ill.
A ceremony featuring Mint Director Ed Moy and
U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin was held just outside
the building where Abraham Lincoln spent much of
his time during his career as a lawyer.
"Illinois is where Lincoln evolved into a
successful lawyer and politician. His service in
the state legislature and Congress and his
debates with Stephen Douglas paved the way to
his election as President," Moy said.
Durbin thanked Moy for his personal intervention
in the design process so that the cent included
the Old Capitol in the design. He was building
upon remarks already made by Springfield Mayor
Timothy Davin, who told the crowd of the efforts
of Wally Henderson, a local architect and
preservationist, to put the building on the
Henderson was one of three architects who
oversaw the restoration process in 1966-1968 to
return it to the condition it was in when it
served as the Capitol 1839-1876.
Springfield collector Bob Olson, who attended
the event and supplied most of the material for
this report, said attendance was a "very solid
5,000 people." Some had camped out since 9 p.m.
the day before. However, as many as one-third of
the total attendance did not arrive until after
Most were present to obtain rolls of the new
cents for face value.
Olson said the physical layout allowed those who
were waiting in line to get the coins to also
watch the ceremony, which ran roughly 40 minutes
following its 10 a.m. commencement.
Children who attended the ceremony were given
one coin each free of charge.
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank managed the coin
exchange, which ran from 10 40 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Each person was limited to a maximum of six
rolls for each trip through the line.
Olson said an unofficial estimate was the bank
supplied 40,000-50,000 rolls. He believed the
higher figure was more accurate because some
participants were able to get 18 to 24 rolls
with little difficulty.
All of the cents supplied at the ceremony were
from the Philadelphia Mint.
"The crowd was friendly," Olson said.Only a very
few people were uncivil. There were police
reports of two small scuffles over places in the
front of the line in the hours before the
The speculative spirit continues to surround the
"There were a few dealers and speculators
purchasing rolls just off site outside the iron
fences which surround the Old State Capitol,"
Olson said. He added that he witnessed one man
purchasing more than 100 rolls for $10 each (20
times face value). He was sending the coins by
overnight express to a third-party grading
Collectors who could not be present in
Springfield were able to purchase the coins for
face value at Mint headquarters and Union
Station in Washington, D.C.