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Clock ticks slowly waiting for new coins

Hey, it’s January. Where are all of the new coins?

I imagine most collectors are asking themselves that question, though perhaps we all are secretly pleased that we don’t have to begin spending any money on sets right away.

After the holidays, I am sure even the most prudent of spenders doesn’t mind a little time to pass in order for the money in his or her wallet or purse to fatten up a bit.

Cents now are high on every collector’s agenda. They were put there after last year’s centennial designs were released but not generally available.

After the tease of knowing what designs were coming out in 2009 followed by extremely long waits to actually see the coins in our hands, it is perhaps a good thing that there is only one new design for the cent this year, which will then stay around for quite awhile.

The waiting will be made easier because it is far less likely that examples of the 2010 Shield design will end up for sale on eBay at pricing levels similar to the first Lincoln cent design last year.

Knowing that the design will be struck all year is kind of a downer for hobbyists with a speculative turn of mind, though I would imagine that a few of the coins will be offered just to test the market waters.

Who can really know what will happen at that point? Collectors don’t like to wait. Some might consider the opportunity to buy them to be irresistible. There are bragging rights involved.

It takes some time for collectors to become indifferent to a design.

The Wheat-back cent was used from 1909 until 1958 and the Memorial reverse was used 1959 until 2008. Both were taken for granted by collectors by the time they were retired.

If a similar schedule is kept, the new Shield reverse cent will run from 2010 until 2059, the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln cent, and I am sure it will earn collector indifference by the middle of the 21st century, unless of course, abolition is once again threatened. Then look out.

However, “indifference” is not an apt word to describe collector attitudes to the new cent in January 2010. The Shield is new. It is still relatively unknown.

Is a state of anxiety too strong a description for the collector frame of mind at this point in time?

I don’t think so. Perhaps many of us surprised ourselves by the level of interest we took in the new 2009 cent designs.

Even though I hadn’t touched a Lincoln cent album in over 40 years, I was eagerly scanning my change for the 2009 designs. I still am batting only .500 in getting the four of them from change.

Many collectors probably can’t wait to see what the new cent actually looks like in their own hands. Line drawings may hint at what’s coming, but no line drawing can do justice to a coin design. There is no color or depth of field.

Even with the news reports of the 2010 Shield cent’s pending arrival, there are probably many collectors who still don’t know a change is coming. That is not surprising. They will have a pleasant surprise in discovering that there is yet another new coin for them to both evaluate and collect.

More Resources:

2010 U.S. Coin Digest, The Complete Guide to Current Market Values, 8th ed.

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money, 1928 to Date

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition

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