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Gold records and cents coexist

Gold went through the $1,100 mark fairly convincingly this morning and it certainly gives one pause to ponder the implications of the current value of the precious metal.

However, more interesting for me is the contrast that 2009 has provided for collectors.
We have seen strong gold and silver prices all year long. The counterpoint, the contrasting point, is provided by the 2009 cents.

There has been incredibly strong interest in the Lincoln cent this year. Now Lincoln cents have always been popular, but that they should become turbocharged in a year when the major market action seems to be in precious metals is somewhat surprising.

Now we have known for years that 2009 is an anniversary year and expected an uptick in interest. What we didn’t know in 2005 when the legislation was passed to authorize the four new designs was how much higher gold and silver would go.

That interest in gold and silver did not eclipse interest in cents makes 2009 feel like we collectors have a lot going on.

Many collectors suspect that the general public is still unaware of the existence of the special commemorative designs this year. That means what is going on with cents currently is almost entirely generated by the collecting population. That is unusual and we should mark this year in our memories.

Can the current high level of interest in the cent be sustained or broadened to the general public after this anniversary year is over? That will be the key test. We are lucky in that there will be a new cent design in 2010 as well.

Even if interest falls away next year or some time down the road, the memories of what occurred in 2009 with the lowly denomination will be with all of us as long as we are collectors.