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Coin Clinic: State map on cent puzzles reader

LincolnI recently came across this penny in change and wondered what the imprinted image was. I am guessing that it was some type of promotion for the State of New York, as the outline appears to be that of the state. Have you any idea what it could be?

There was a set of Lincoln cents on which one of each of the 50 states was countermarked, I believe during the mid-1970s and again later. This was done outside the Mint without the approval of the Mint. The coins were sold for a profit. A surprising number of them can be found in circulation. Collect them by date, anyone?

Why do we continue to place dates and mintmarks on our coins?

The original reasoning was to assure the quality and consistency of the metal composition and weight, which was spot-checked annually by the now defunct U.S. Assay Commission. If the coins didn’t meet legal standards, the government knew whom to hold responsible.

E-mail inquiries only. Do not send letters in the mail. Send to Giedroyc@Bright.net. Because of space limitations, we are unable to publish all questions.

More Coin Collecting Resources:

• Kick-start your coin collection with the Fundamentals of Coin Collecting set of essential resources and tools.

• Strike it rich with this U.S. coins value pack.

• Build an impressive collection with Coin Collecting 101.

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