Update: For coverage of the ceremony go to 2009 Lincoln Penny Launch Lincoln City, Indiana
Tomorrow, May 14, 2009, will mark the release of the second redesigned 2009 Lincoln Cent. The second design represents his “Formative Years” spent in Indiana and depicts a young Abraham Lincoln taking a break from splitting rails to read a book. The release of the coin will be accompanied by an official launch ceremony, several coin exchange locations, and the start of sales for the two roll set offered by the US Mint.
The unavailability of the first 2009 Lincoln Cent in circulation caught many by surprise and also created a profit bonanza for some of the attendees of the Hodgenville, Kentucky launch ceremony and others who were able to obtain rolls of the coins early. This time around, more collectors are paying attention, and the US Mint also seems to be taking steps to ensure a broader distribution and curtail bulk purchases.
The Lincoln City, Indiana launch ceremony will take place at the Lincoln Amphitheatre located inside Lincoln State Park, beginning at 10 AM CDT. The coordinators of the event recommend that people arrive at least one hour in advance due to parking limitations and restricted traffic flows.
After the ceremony, attendees will be allowed to exchange bills for rolls of the new Lincoln Cents from the Philadelphia Mint. A minimum of two rolls or a maximum of six rolls may be exchanged. After everyone has had a chance to go through the exchange line and if supplies permit, attendees will be allowed a second pass for a maximum of twelve rolls per person. The exchange limit was reduced from a previously announced maximum of ten rolls. The maximum of two passes through the exchange line was also added. The limits are still indicated as “subject to change.” At the first launch ceremony in Hodgenville, some attendees were actually allowed to purchase full $25 boxes of the new coins after everyone had a chance at the exchange line.
Additional exchange sites will be available in Washington, DC. The sites include the US Mint Sales Counters at Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE and the first floor of the US Mint headquarters at 801 Ninth St. NW. The coin exchange will be available on May 14 from 10 AM to 4 PM. The Senate Credit Union on Capitol Hill will also have the coins available for exchange on May 15 from 10 AM to 3 PM.
For anyone not fortunate enough to be located near one of the exchange sites, the 2009 Lincoln Cent Formative Years Two Roll Set will go on sale at the US Mint on May 14, 2009 at 12:00 Noon ET. Each set will contain one 50-coin roll from the Philadelphia Mint and one 50-coin roll from the Denver Mint in custom wrappers. The sets are priced at $8.95 each, plus shipping and handling. There will be a limit of 5 sets per household.
Even though many complained about the pricing, the last offering sold out in approximately two weeks, and prices quickly rose on the secondary market. Following the sell out, eBay prices rose to nearly $100 per set, before receding to the current level around $50 per set. Here are the current auctions.
If the same number of rolls are available from the US Mint, expect the sell out to come even faster. Here is a link to the US Mint’s listing page for the product, although ordering options won’t be available until the official start of sales.