Update: For coverage of the ceremony go to 2009 Lincoln Penny Launch Lincoln City, Indiana
The second of the newly designed 2009 Lincoln Cents will be released on May 14, 2009. Some initial details on the launch ceremony and US Mint’s Two Roll Set offering are already starting to emerge.
The 2009 “Rail Splitter” Lincoln Cent represents the formative years of Lincoln’s life, which he spent in Indiana from 1816 to 1830. The reverse design depicts a young Abraham Lincoln taking a break from working as a rail splitter to read a book and educate himself. The reverse was designed and sculpted by Charles Vickers. The obverse will continue to bear the bust of Lincoln originally designed by Victor D. Brenner.
The launch ceremony for the new design will take place on May 14, 2009 at 10:00 AM at Lincoln State Park in Lincoln City, Indiana. Representatives from the US Mint and Lincoln Bicentennial Commission are expected to be in attendance. The ceremony will be followed by a coin exchange where attendees will be able to exchange currency for a minimum of two or maximum of ten six rolls of the new 2009 Lincoln Cents for each pass through the exchange line. After all attendees have had the opportunity to go through the exchange line a second pass will be allowed for a maximum combined total of twelve rolls per attendee. (updated: May 4, 2009)
The ceremony for the previous release was held in Hodgenville, Kentucky. An estimated 1,500 people attended the ceremony, which was followed by a coin exchange. It turned out that this was one of the only places to acquire the new coins, and prices for coins acquired at the exchange quickly soared.
Also on May 14, the US Mint should be offering two roll sets of the “Rail Splitting” design. The Roll Sets would hopefully be available for the price of $8.95, the same price as first two roll set. Susan Headley has reported that the US Mint will offer only 100,000 sets. This is the same number of sets that were available for the first design’s release, which sold out in less than two weeks. It’s a bit surprising that the US Mint was not able to allocate more coins for these sets, especially following the popularity of the first offering and continued limited distribution through the normal channels.
After the huge price increases for the first design’s release, its likely that more people will show up at the launch ceremony in Indiana and the US Mint facilities to exchange coins. The Two Roll Sets will also likely be a quick sell out, provided the US Mint is only selling 100,000 sets. While I wouldn’t depend on the skyrocketing appreciation of the first release, for anyone looking to add the next 2009 Lincoln Cent to their collection- it would better to acquire the coins early through one of the official channels, than risk paying more later on the secondary market.