If original bank rolls for the 2009 Lincoln cent log cabin (Birthplace) “P” mint is 5,688,000, then that number is greatly reduced by the number of banks, collectors and non-collectors opening them to find that perfect coin or using them for general circulation.
But when you take the number of rolls and divide them by the number of original sealed boxes, then there are only a maximum of 113,760 sealed boxes.
As everyone knows, many of them were machine damaged, opened, graded and spent, leaving the possibility that owning an original bank box or roll would make it even scarcer in bulk and in Mint State.
From that assumption, imagine if you were to break down the rest of the series mintage by rolls and boxes.
The 2009-P Birthplace cent has a mintage of 284,400,000 coins, which works out to be 5,688,000 rolls, or 113,760 boxes.
2009-D Birthplace cent has a mintage of 350,400,000 coins, which works out to be 7,008,000 rolls, or 140,160 boxes.
2009-P Formative Years cent has a mintage of 376,000,000 coins, which works out to be 7,520,000 rolls, or 150,400 boxes.
2009-D Formative Years cent has a mintage of 363,600,000 coins, which works out to be 7,272,000 rolls, or 145,440 boxes.
Now take into consideration the issuance of Formative Rolls when First Day ceremonies and banks were not selling boxes to customers (not to mention many not even ordering them), but opening them instead.
Imagine how scarce those boxes have become. If the Birthplace cents are scarce by individual coins then wouldn’t the boxes become even more scarce for the Formative Years and subsequent releases?
Then you have to take into consideration the 96,000 Birthplace two-roll sets and 284,907 Formative sets of “P” and “D” mintmark rolls that the U.S. Mint sold to customers and how many of them have been opened by customers and the number of rolls opened to find the doubled dies for the Formative Years, not to mention the number of U.S. Mint sealed boxes opened. You would have to subtract that from the roll numbers and you would have fewer rolls and boxes available.
2009-P Birthplace cent has a mintage of 284,400,000 coins, but with subtractions noted above the totals become 5,592,000 rolls, or 111,840 boxes.
2009-D Birthplace cent has a mintage of 350,400,000 coins, but with the subtactions becomes 6,912,000 rolls, or 138,240 boxes.
2009-P Formative Years cent has a mintage of 376,000,000 coins, but with subtractions becomes 7,235,093 rolls or 144,701 boxes (rounded down).
2009-D Formative Years cent has a mintage of 363,600,000 coins, but with subtractions becomes 6,987,093 rolls, or 139,741 boxes (rounded down).
The scarcity of this series can go beyond the coin itself.
Ronnie H. Tso is a collector from Missouri.
Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Numismatic News.
To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send e-mail to email@example.com.