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Year of Lincoln nears its end

“Lincoln’s on the front page again,” colleague Debbie Bradley declared as we were wrapping up work yesterday on Numismatic News.

“It’s the year of Lincoln,” I replied.

Indeed it is, but 2009 is now in its final calendar quarter.

While it is not time to actually start winding down with Lincoln stories, it is time to start thinking about that.

We have the release of the fourth cent design coming up in a Nov. 12 ceremony in Washington, D.C. Its theme is the Lincoln presidency and the design depicts the unfinished dome of the Capitol building, which was under construction as the Civil War raged.

There will also be a new Lincoln cent reverse in 2010. The final design will be unveiled then.

If cents are released through the banking system in a fairly normal manner in 2010, that will be pretty much it for the overall Lincoln cent effect on the hobby. If it is again a slow release, well then the year of Lincoln will turn into the 14 or 15 months of Lincoln.

Fortunately, Lincoln cents have always been popular in my collecting life. Even when silver dollars eclipsed them for a time in the 1980s, it was less a sign of Lincoln cent weakness than it was of silver dollar strength.

While I wish no one the continued frustration of delayed collecting hopes, I would not be sad to see more attention paid to the Lincoln cent.

The cent was my first coin album and I will always take an interest in it.

I remember an old TV show in the 1960s called, “The Second Hundred Years.”
That is a very apt name for the period we have entered for the Lincoln cent.