Nothing beats first-hand reports when it comes to getting a sense of how the new Lincoln cents are being distributed. Since the Feb. 12 introduction of the first 2009 design, collectors have been anxiously awaiting their first look at the new coins.
These waits have gotten very long and very frustrating for some collectors.
I have not yet seen either of the new cents in change, so central Wisconsin might still be counted as a wasteland – or a waste of time – for looking.
But new hope was provided this morning by our summer intern, David Brierley. He is beginning his fourth week here and he reported that over the weekend at his job as a bar tender/waiter in Fort Atkinson, he spotted his first new Lincoln cent.
It was the second design rather than the first for the Formative Years of Abraham Lincoln, showing him seated on a log, reading a book, with his ax resting nearby.
Fort Atkinson is not exactly in Iola’s backyard. It is the backyard for the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater campus where our intern goes to school.
The find occurred June 20, so it is a fresh one, and it is gratifying that our work here in Iola is having an impact on our intern.
He did not walk in the front door as a collector, but perhaps we will make him one before he resumes classes in the autumn. At the least, he has bragging rights as the first person here at Numismatic News to have found a new cent in change.