Rail Splitter Penny Two Roll Set Sales
News has been popping up around the internet that sales of the 2009 Rail Splitter Penny Two Roll Sets have already exceeded 200,000.
The corollary to this news is that the US Mint is apparently issuing many more two roll sets for this release than they did for the first. The "Log Cabin" Two Roll Sets had sold out after 96,000 sets were sold over the course of two weeks. I have not been able to obtain any confirmation of exactly how many "Rail Splitter" Sets will be available.
The implication of these developments seems to be that the US Mint realized that they have been badly underestimating the demand for their Rolls and Bags offerings and are adjusting the number of units available to much higher levels. While this is good news for some, it may be disappointing for others. Since the US Mint is apparently allotting different numbers of units for similar products, it would be nice if they let collectors know exactly how many will be available instead of keeping everyone guessing.
The continuing availability of the "Rail Splitter" or Formative Years 2009 Lincoln Cent will likely have the impact of keeping secondary market prices at bay. For the first release, prices had reached manic levels even for unmarked generic rolls since initially there were few dependable sources for obtaining the coins.
At the Lincoln City, Indiana launch ceremony, the US Mint also took steps which had the impact of creating a broader distribution and preventing hoarding and profiteering. This included lowering the exchange limit to only six rolls per person and preventing buying and selling of coins within the park. At the first launch ceremony, some individuals had been able to obtain full 50 roll boxes from the coin exchange, since there were many rolls remaining at the end of the ceremony.
While these developments may create some renewed interest for the Birthplace Cents, particularly the US Mint issued two roll sets, the market for 2009 Lincoln Cents seems to be changing. In many ways, it seems like the US Mint is trying to deflate the Penny Bubble.