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Unfinished in more ways than one

I received a cent in change yesterday that startled me. It was part of a handful of coins totaling 84 cents that was due me as change from a $5 bill for a $4.16 purchase.

It was the fourth Lincoln cent design of 2009 honoring Lincoln’s Presidency. The reverse depicts the U.S. Capitol with the unfinished dome, which was under construction during the Civil War.

The coin was placed in my hand with the reverse side up, so the Capitol design is what I saw first.

Here we are a year and a half after the design was created and I am wracking my brain trying to remember if I have ever received one of these in change before.

I certainly reacted as if I had not.

The 2009-D coin appears to have been around a while. It is already losing the brilliant luster of a new cent as small brownish spots are taking hold in the fields on both sides.

Considering all the collector hullabaloo about the lack of these coins in circulation in 2009, I am surprised I do not hear more about them from readers.

Have they given up on them?

Or are others more used to them than I apparently am?

 I did look at the other coins, but other than a 1973-D cent, it was a pretty nondescript batch of coins from recent years. I mention the 1973-D only because it is 95 percent copper and you do not see many of the copper ones floating around here any longer.

And, yes, I am still watching the price of silver. If the pattern of 1980 holds, it will close around $34.15 today and $33 tomorrow and then bounce up to $34.85 on Wednesday and $37.75 on Thursday.

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3 Responses to Unfinished in more ways than one

  1. Mark says:

    I would say about 27% of the pennies I get in change, (when I acutally get pennies, many stores round up) are the pre 1982 95% copper pennies. And about 1 in 200 is a pre 1959 wheat penny. I have not seen any 2009 pennies in circulation recently. I do see them in rolls of pennies bought from banks.

  2. Chris says:

    I rescued a 1959-D cent from my wife’s purse over the weekend. What made the find interesting was the fact that it looked as though the cent had come right out of the original roll! Very bright with lots of luster. One wonders where it’s been hiding for the past 52 years!

  3. Vachon says:

    Mark is about right. Remember that "only" about 145 billion 95% copper cents were made compared to about 285 billion zinc cents to date. That’s a ratio of almost 2 to 1 in favor of zinc or about 33% copper. They’re still out there. I haven’t seen evidence that they’re being removed. It’s just they’re getting displaced by the zinc cents. However, I do see wheat cents with a frequency of about one or two per 100 coins though I get first access as a cashier.

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