The United States Mint will host the launch ceremony for the newly designed 2010 “Union Shield” Lincoln Cent later this week. The ceremony takes place after some of the coins have already reached the channels of circulation.
Update 2/10/2010 9:30 PM ET: The Springfield, Illinois launch ceremony will take place tomorrow as scheduled. The Washington DC coin exchanges will not take place as the Federal Government is closed tomorrow due to the blizzard.
The new reverse design features a Union Shield with a scroll draped across, bearing the denomination “One Cent”. The shield has thirteen vertical stripes and a horizontal bar with the inscription “E Pluribus Unum”, representing the original states joined in one compact union in support of the federal government. This design is intended to be emblematic of Lincoln’s preservation of the United States as a single and united country.
The launch ceremony will be held on February 11, 2010, 9:30 AM CT at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum located at 212 N. Sixth Street in Springfield, Illinois. The ceremony will be followed by a coin exchange, where attendees will be allowed to exchange currency for rolls of the new coins. The US Mint has announced a minimum of two rolls and a maximum of six rolls for the exchange (subject to change).
On the same date, coin exchanges will also be available at locations in Washington, DC. The exchanges will be available at the US Mint sales counter located at Union Station and the first floor of the US Mint’s headquarters at 801 9th Street NW.
I haven’t seen as much excitement from collectors about the upcoming ceremony as some of the previous ceremonies for the 2009 Lincoln Cent designs. After the first ceremony in Hodgenville, Kentucky proved to be an incredible boon for attendees who were able to obtain rolls at the coin exchange, the second and third ceremonies had much more buzz and higher attendance. The second ceremony was even called “Numismatic Woodstock” as approximately 3,000 people traveled to Lincoln City, Indiana for the ceremony and exchange.
By the fourth ceremony held in Washington, DC, attendance had declined to just a few hundred people. This may have been partially due to the weather and the fact that the coin exchanges were available at other DC locations, held indoors.
It will be interesting to see how many people attend the upcoming 2010 Lincoln Cent launch ceremony. I think some of the anticipation has been lost due to the fact that 2010 Lincoln Cents have been in the hands of some collectors for nearly one month. As early as January 12, 2010, some examples of the first 2010 Lincoln Cents started appearing in Puerto Rico and quickly found their way to eBay, where collectors throughout the United States could acquire them, albeit at a premium.
The United States Mint is yet to announce any products which specifically highlight the 2010 Lincoln Cent, although it seems likely that something is in the works. For the 2009 Lincoln Cents, the US Mint had offered Two Roll Sets, a separate Lincoln Proof Set, and the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set.
If any readers do plan to attend the ceremony on February 11 and would like to provide photos or a report of the ceremony, please contact me.
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