I received a letter from someone who said he had 1,080,000 cents that weigh three and a half tons.
These have been accumulated over the course of the last 54 years.
He wrote the coins are not a hoard. Rather, they are a collection, or perhaps it would be better to say they are multiple collections: 100 roll sets plus a bag set of Lincoln Memorial cents from 1959 to 2008.
Assembling this quantity of cents, he said, was a dream of his that dated back to the very first year of issue.
The cents are a mixture of conditions. He said the better dates are brilliant uncirculated and others are circulated.
Why did he decide to write me this week? As for the timing, I cannot begin to guess, but the motive seems to be sale.
The letter ends this way, “Please do not use my name at the bottom of this article. If you get any calls or emails, I may be contacted at (number), but I gather I am not supposed to publish the phone number, but provide it to anyone who asks me how to contact the anonymous cent collector.
I am not expecting a crowd to be beating down the door to reach me as the result of this information coming to light.
The collector deserves a medal for finding room to store such a large quantity of cents. But I am sure that any buyer will want to know a bit more about the BU dates in the group because these coins will be where the value is.
Circulated Lincoln Memorial cents won’t cut it unless they happen to be doubled-dies.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”