Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Monday, August 17, 2009

Springfield, Illinois 2009 Lincoln Penny Launch

As I have done in the past, I wanted to provide a recap of the launch ceremony for the latest 2009 Lincoln Cent release. The "Professional Life" design was launched at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois on Thursday, August 13, 2009.

United States Mint Director Edmund Moy presented the ceremony. He was joined by Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin and United States Senator Dick Durbin. Senator Durbin had played a special role in relation to the third 2009 Lincoln Cent design.

Initially, a design had been chosen which featured Lincoln reading a book at a desk. The architect in charge of the restoration of the Old State Capitol felt that the design carried little meaning and had nothing to do with Illinois. After numerous attempts to work through different channels including the US Mint, the architect contacted Senator Durbin. He went straight to the top by contacting Treasury Secretary Paulson, who had responsibility for the final design decision. Senator Durbin convinced him to select the design with Lincoln standing before the Old State Capitol.

The number of people attending the launch event seemed to be around the same number that had attended the previous ceremony in Indiana, which had been estimated at 3,000. This was a little surprising since the number of attendees had doubled from the first to second ceremonies. Also, Springfield is a major city and the location was more suited to handling a larger crowd.

Once again the coin exchange was a major attraction at the event. People began lining up early in the morning, apparently with some people even lining up the night before. The exchange line was snaked around the Old State Capitol grounds so people waiting could actually view the ceremony. The exchange began at 10:40, following completion of the ceremony.

The limits of minimum of two rolls and maximum of six rolls were in place. Many people were able to go through the exchange line multiple times to obtain more than six rolls. There was a report that police had to intervene to take care of some line cutters. The supplies were exhausted by 12:40, at which point the coin exchange ended.

Other events at the State Capitol following the launch ceremony included a program called "Lincoln in Song" by Chris Vallillo and a presentation by Joel Iskowitz, the "Professional Life" reverse designer.

The Post Office was located about two blocks away and many people went there to have their rolls stamped and canceled. They had a specially prepared black "dedication" cancellation stamp or the regular red daily cancellation stamp.

At 12:00 Noon ET on the same date, the US Mint began selling the 2009 Lincoln Cent Formative Years Two Roll Set. Reports from readers indicate that orders could be placed without delay even during the first few minutes of the offering. This would seem to indicate much lower collector interest than the prior two roll set release. When the Formative Years two roll sets were released, the US Mint's website had slowed to a crawl and orders were difficult to place. Besides lower interest, this could also be the impact of more people pre-ordering their rolls through the US Mint's subscription program, which was instated after the second roll set had already been released.

As expected, there have already been plenty of Professional Life Cents offered for sale on eBay. Some of the earliest rolls stamped and canceled in Springfield sold for $30 each, but prices have since declined to about $15. Various auctions are also selling unmarked rolls, single coins, and even sealed $25 boxes of the new Professional Life Cents. These coins are still driving significant premiums, but the "mania" experienced during the first design seems to have subsided. Here are the current eBay auctions for Professional Life Cents.

Some pictures from the Springfield, Illinois are included below. Once again, thank you to Michael Forader who provide the pictures and some details from the event!



At August 17, 2009 at 5:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not much mention of the roll totals given out at all three locations (Springfield,Union Station,& US Mint in DC.Does anyone have any accurate numbers yet?

At August 17, 2009 at 5:46 PM , Blogger Michael said...

There were 20,000 rolls exchanged at Springfield, IL. (the same amount as the Indiana event).

I haven't seen any numbers for the DC exchange locations yet.

At August 18, 2009 at 4:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the exchange in union station and there was only 4000 rolls issued there.I'm pretty sure the same amount was issued at the US mint location in DC.But I don't think they sold out because they were turning people away that were coming back for more after four turns in line.So the total at most for the DC exchange in both locations in DC couldn't be more then 8000.That would make those rolls more desirable due to lower population.

At August 18, 2009 at 5:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just noticed that the backorder date on my subscription rolls has now been pushed out again. This time to Sept. 2. One wonders if there have been quality issues with them this time?

At August 18, 2009 at 6:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I decided to open a roll I purchased at union station and I found minor errors.One is at lincolns left foot that looks like a spike sticking out of the front of his shoe.The other I noticed is a slight die crack running down the center of Lincolns face from his forehead down to his chin and in some cases all the way down through his right arm.Another significant die crack I found was split three ways off of both feet and through the N in one on the reverse.So I would say that they probably are having significant problems with quality control on this series.If the First Day Of Issues are showing die cracks early.I can't see where they could be issuing more until these problems are solved.I'm currently selling my rolls on ebay at 25.00 a roll because the price has seemed to slip a bit on this series.If anyone is interested.Let me know through an email.

At August 18, 2009 at 6:37 AM , Blogger Tim said...

Post above is mine and my email address is attached to this post

At August 18, 2009 at 9:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I purchased mine from the DC Kiosks and I am finding errors as well. Thank god something went my way. I would not sell these, you can sell these rolls for much more later.

At August 18, 2009 at 11:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been bitten way too much in the past by thinking "This will be worth more later, so I won't sell it now." Did I sell any of my 2006 Silver Eagle 20th Anniversary sets when they were going for $600 each? No, because I was sure they would be worth $800. Look at them now, all you want for $250 each. Sigh.

At August 18, 2009 at 11:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading the blog today, I opened one of my rolls found some minor dye error in one coin but I am a collector and I am not selling. I do think that next year, more and more people will recognize that these Lincoln penny's are very desirable coins to have.

At August 18, 2009 at 11:40 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

The kiosk at the U.S. Mint was not crowded at all. This time around they didn't do numbers like they did last time. Instead they just made sure the line started outside of the Mint building. When it was time, they slowly let a handful of people in the building to buy the rolls.
The line itself wasn't long. Maybe 50 people?? Didn't even hit the corner of the building. The line was relatively quick and you could easily get back in line and get more rolls.
I don't know the exact amount of rolls they had, but 4000 looked about right. I only stayed until 11:00 and then went over to the nearest Post Office to get them stamped and postmarked.
BTW, I haven't had the easiest time getting Post Office's to postmark my rolls (either this event or the last one). This time, I really had to cajole the person behind the counter. They called their manager and finally they decided it wouldn't hurt anything and they let me and my wife actually stamp the things ourselves. In the past, I actually had to go to three other POs before one let me get my rolls cancelled.
My rolls are only going for about $15 (through auction). Which isn't as high as they were going for past events but its still nothing to sneeze at. That's roughly a profit of $14. I guess some would want to include travel costs and time-off costs. But I live in the DC area and was already on vacation this weekend, so, all in all a good investment.
Also, I agree with a former commenter that stated they always regret WAITING to sell their stuff because it rarely works out. I've had the same experience. Of course, you usually have to wait for a Mint product to sell out before getting some kind of profit. But in many cases, you don't get your really big profits unless you sell soon after they sell out. Maybe long term, some of this stuff could get more money... but I'm thinking long term equals many years from now.

At August 18, 2009 at 3:53 PM , Blogger Tim said...

After traveling a long way and getting a limited amount of rolls I will be selling mine at 25.00.Mine were stamp cancelled at two locations(Union Station PO and the National Postal Museum Station) just to make them more rare and desirable.Now that I have found errors allthough minor.I'm hoping to at least make my trip get paid for and have a few rolls and errors for my collection.If anyone has any nice double stamp cancels from the ceremony.I would be happy to trade with them.Just reply to this comment and we can arrange something.I'd like to trade 4 double stamp cancels for the same of the ceremony rolls.I hope all has gone well for others involved.All in all I can say it was fun and worth going to DC for the lower population rolls.

At August 20, 2009 at 5:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

After having the ship date pushed out to Sept. 2 (see my 8/18 post) I received an email this morning (8/20)confirming shipment of my subscription rolls. After reading about all the strike errors I'm planning on opening them up and have a look.

At August 20, 2009 at 9:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This probably doesn't mean much, but the difference between my Polk Dollar order number and my Lincoln Rolls number is about 73,000. Both orders were taken at 12:02-12:03 on the first day of the offers.


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