95% Copper 2009 Lincoln Cents in 2009 Proof Sets

The 2009 US Proof Set went on sale June 1, 2009. Some readers who ordered early have already reported receiving their sets. In this post, I wanted to briefly mention the latest US Mint sales figures and revisit the topic of the 95% copper (bronze) 2009 Lincoln Cents.

According to Numismaster’s Mint Stats published June 10, 2009, the US Mint recorded sales of 437,178 sets. This seems like a faster pace of sales than usual for the proof set, although I haven’t been able to track down any interim sales figures from last year to compare.

Last year, the 2008 Proof Set sold just over 1.4 million sets in total.This number was lower than average due to an unexpected sell out in mid-December 2008. Typically, annual proof sets will remain on sale through the holiday gift giving season, and for some time into the following year.

The 2009 Proof Set will likely sell more units than the 2008 Proof Set, especially if it remains available for the entire year. Even if the final mintage for the set comes in higher, the long term prospects for the 2009 Proof Set remain solid. The set has a few unique aspects, which should help to maintain a heightened interest and demand for the sets in the future.

The 2009 Proof Set is the largest size regular proof set since the US Mint began issuing complete proof sets for collectors. It contains a total of 18 coins, which includes the entire six coin District of Columbia & U.S. Territories Quarters Set and the four different 2009 Lincoln Cent designs. The cents are struck in 95% copper, as opposed to the zinc based composition currently used for Lincoln Cents struck for circulation.

The alternate composition was authorized under Public Law 109-145, which also provided for the redesign of the Lincoln Cent. With regards to composition, the law provides for the issuance of one cent coins “with the exact metallic content as the 1-cent coin contained in 1909 in such number as the Secretary determines to be appropriate for numismatic purposes.” The US Mint has stated that these 95% copper (bronze) versions would be included “in the United States Mint’s annual product offerings.”

Although its been reported on Mint News Blog, other coin websites, and coin print publications that the 2009 Proof Lincoln Cents would have a composition of 95% copper, the US Mint’s product page for the 2009 Proof Set curiously makes no mention of the fact. The US Mint also did not mention the composition in their press release announcing the product. Because these curious omissions, the true composition of the 2009 Lincoln Cents contained in the proof set have caused some confusion.

Now that some collectors have received their sets, there is confirmation of the composition. A Mint News Blog reader wrote wrote via comments that he had received his set on June 5, 2009 and the certificate of authenticity states, “Each Lincoln One-Cent coin has a composition of 95% copper, its original metal content when first introduced in 1909.”

Other annual sets which should include 95% copper Lincoln Cents are the 2009 Mint Set and 2009 Silver Proof Set. Separately, the US Mint confirmed that the 2009 Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set will also contain the 95% copper Lincoln Cents. This special set will contain proof versions of the Lincoln Commemorative and all 2009 Lincoln Cents. A release date for this product has not yet been announced.

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  1. Anonymous says

    I actually think the Mint set may do better than the proof one in the long run if 95% copper cents are included.

  2. Anonymous says

    I agree. I can't wait for the uncirculated mint set to come out and plan to get a few.

    The other thing I like about the unc sets as opposed to the proof sets is that their packaging seems to be more "bullet-proof" (pardon the pun). I received my proof sets already, and they looked like they were shipped inside a soccer ball that was used at the world cup. They were stuffed into a shipping box that was too small with no cushion whatsoever. This may be a year where PCGS and NGC want to grade the proof set boxes as most will be in poor condition.

  3. Lasloo says

    While the Mint's shipping has always needed some improvement, the coins in the proof set are still in plastic lenses that should keep good care of the coins regardless of most shipping problems.
    However, what you're saying might be more true for the uncirculated sets, since I'm not convinced that the packaging for those sets are protective enough.
    With all this said, I'm not sure I know how to judge whether any of the 3 annual sets will be worth until the end of the year when final mintage numbers are known. I'm not sure the 6 quarters or 4 prez $1 coins will make this set worth any more. The copper cents are definitely a winner, but if you can get them in the 3 annual sets and the Chronicles, is it really going to be that unique?

    Here's the REAL variable that is still unknown. How many of these sets will be taken apart to GET to the pennies, so that people can have independent rolls of 2009 copper pennies or PCGS slabbed copper pennies?? If that becomes a popular thing to do, regardless of the end-of-the-year mintage, these sets will BECOME rare if sold as a complete set, and thus valued at a higher premium.

  4. Anonymous says

    I wonder if the Lincoln Chronicles set will include the 4 cents and the silver commemorative under one lense?

  5. Lasloo says

    So does this mean that we'll be getting P & D copper pennies in the uncirculated set? If so, does that make the uncirculated set more valuable, in some ways, then the other two sets?

  6. Anonymous says

    I understand that the unc set will have copper pennies. See attached link below:

    "These coins will be issued for circulation in quantities to meet the demands of commerce. In addition, the Secretary of the Treasury shall mint and issue numismatic one-cent coins in 2009 with the exact metallic content as contained in the 1909 one-cent coin (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc). These numismatic versions will be included in the United States Mint’s annual product offerings."


  7. Anonymous says

    The pennies in the Uncirculated Mint Set will indeed be the copper versions, but they will have the "satin finish" used since 2005. In a way, this makes the coins included in the annual set distinguishable from circulation strikes, with mintage numbers insanely low by comparison. That's why it boggles my mind why the 2005 Uncirculated Mint Set has become so worthless today. 1.1 million coins versus hundreds of millions, but the circulation strikes are worth more. It makes no sense.

  8. Anonymous says

    I received my 2009 proof sets today … someone made the comment about the packaging, and he/she was right …I know that packaging is very important and a percentage of what I've received looks pathetic (fortunately the cases ane intact), I don't want to spend the time or money to return. Perhaps it's why so many folks are breaking up sets to sell, because the boxes have that crushed look.

  9. Anonymous says

    So when I ordered 11 proof sets, totaling over $300, I selected Expedited Shipping and hoped that the "free" upgrade would mean that the Mint would charge me less for my order than they showed, or perhaps give me a refund. They did neither, and I paid full Expedited Shipping costs. Of note, mine came in an extra large box with some packing paper to hold the sets somewhat steady; it was not a complete disaster as some other commenters here say was the case for them.

    So now I order Guam rolls and Tyler rolls, totaling over $300 again, and selected Regular Shipping, since I had recently found out that this is the appropriate way to get the "free upgrade". But because the Tyler rolls are backordered, the Mint is now shipping me only the Guam rolls. And therefore, since the Guam rolls alone are not over $300, they are sending it Regular Shipping, and I assume they will do the same whenever they send the Tyler rolls. I generally support the Mint but what a crock of crap.

    Does anyone else know how to actually get the free upgrade to Expedited Shipping to work properly?

  10. Lasloo says

    Ever since the Satin Finish changes to the Uncirculated Sets occurred, they have been worth less because of the rarity of higher grades in normal business-strike coins versus the satin-finish-strike coins (percentage-wise). So, in this case, the value is in the rarity of the grading rather than the rarity of the type of coin. For most people, the visual difference between a MS-65 Satin Finish dime and a MS-65 business-strike dime is minimal and thus no inherent premium value to the Satin Finish being added.

    With the 2009 Uncirculated Set however, I do think the fact that the copper makeup of the pennies will make it worth something extra. But I'm not sure it'll be worth A LOT more. My current theory (and I've been proven wrong frequently) is that because of the perception that these copper pennies will have a high premium separated from the sets… that many people will take them out of the sets. This in turn, will make COMPLETE unbroken annual sets worth more. Probably worth more than the copper pennies by themselves. Yea or nay?

  11. Anonymous says

    RE: the increasing packaging fiasco. I don't blame the "Mint" for banged up purchases, I blame the fullfillment operator. They appear to use low IQ rejects at minimum wage and you get what you pay for. If you can tape a box and toss it on the conveyor belt, they are hired. Marginal instructions are given, but emphasis on the "don't waste packaging materials as they cost us" is a priority. There is a gross lack of line testing or supervison. Shame on the operator. Shame on the US Mint. Have you seen the magnificence of products when shipped by the Canadians, and other global Mints? We embarrass ourselves. The US take it or leave it attitude is the problem. Pity.

  12. Anonymous says

    I ordered 10 proof sets and they were packaged rather well in a large box. I think the unopened 2009 proof set in the long run will be the crown holder in terms of collectabilty. As many have stated the sets are being torn apart to get the 4 cents graded and on ebay to sell. I see the same thing happening with the UNC sets. The Lincoln cents are a hot item but the numbers produced keeps climbing.. Next years 1 cent might suprise us all. I think most people are so focused on the Lincoln 1 cent that the other coins… Might be worth more in the long run. Production figures are quite low on several other coins. With all the 1 cent coins in so many different sets its bound to make the Chronicle set less appealing or not? Theres already an abundance of each coin in the chronicles set… so the intact set will probably over shadow the individual graded coins in a slab. SPECULATION is so much fun!

  13. Anonymous says

    It will be the limited number of chronicle sets that will make it appealing! The maximum that they can produce is 50k as the Commerative dollar is already sold out. Sure to increase in the years to come.

  14. Anonymous says

    Ordered mine on 6/1, notified they were shipped 6/4. Got them and they are very nice. Mint must have hired more help !!!

  15. Anonymous says

    Ordered 2 sets and they were well packaged in a larger box with the paper padding. Boxes are in great shape.

  16. Jus- says

    Received an email from the mint stating that in approx. 4 weeks the silver proof sets will be mailed out at the price of $52.95.

  17. Anonymous says

    For me, I look for 3 things in a coin to judge it's future value: clarity, rarity and desirability. Hand's down the proof pennies win in the clarity classification, but may not be as rare as the future unc. However, when I have shown my friends the proof version vs. the rolls I have, they ask about purchasing the proof pennies.

  18. the x says

    lot of prople are breaking up the proof sets for the pennies,the full proof set will be worth more this time next year.

  19. James Porter says

    On one of the many proof 2009-S cents I acquired, there is a “scraped” area along the right side of the book that Abe is holding, and it is clearly bright silver colored, suggesting that at least this coin is NOT 95% copper, but instead is copper-plated zinc. Just as in 1943 and 1944, because different composition planchets were being used, it might have been possible for the wrong compositions to be mixed in with the proper ones for Mint Sets, Proofs AND general circulation strikes; This would have created three additional “types” for the year, resulting in a total of eight different varieties of EACH reverse; P-Normal, D-Normal, S-Proof Normal, P-Satin, D-Satin, P-Wrong Composition (W.C.), D-W.C., S-Proof W.C.

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