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Some Interesting CentsBy Thomas L. Elder
( Orginally published March 1947 )
1908S - This cent has become very popular of late. It is comparatively scarce. Auction dealers now -ask $2.50 to $5 according to condition. One dealer asked $3.50 for one, fine condition.
1909 S Lincoln - This is the one without V. D. B. Fine specimens, red, sell from $1 to $1.25, uncirculated, $3.50. It is very scarce in new condition. One Los Angeles dealer refused to sell or put a price on his.
1909 S Lincoln V. D. B. - This coin has become quite rare. It is about the same rarity as the Indian S. In fine condition is selling $7.50 to $8, uncirculated $12.50 to $15. It may go higher.
1909 S Lincoln - A rare coin in any uncirculated condition, sells $25 to $30. Very hard to find.
1914 D Lincoln - A rare coin. Pieces in only good condition now sell from $2 to $2.50; fine $3 uncirculated up to $10.
1914 S Lincoln - When uncirculated it is rare and worth several dollars.
1922 D Lincoln - Not a very common coin. It lacks the D, in cases, due to striking and When it does, if uncirculated, is worth $5 or $6. Uncirculated examples with the D now bring $2.50 to $3. Uncirculated specimens are scarce.
1931 S Lincoln - Not a large coinage, hence rare in any condition. The uncirculated red brings $2; circulated, very fine $1; uncirculated with no red, $1.50.
Half Cent Disappearing
No U.S. cent has been doing the disappearing act more than the formerly easy to get half cent. Starting in 1793 the coin never was common. More ordinary dates have become scarce in nice condition. The tendency has been to compare certain dates like 1828, 1833, 1834 and 1835 to the large U.S. cents for degrees of scarcity. The comparison is far from justified. The half cents of such dates are a hundred times more scarce. The most common half cent in point of issuance is only about 1,000,000 pieces, whereas cents like the above had from 25 to 30 million issuance of each, except the 1809 cent. The rare late dates from 1831 to 1852 had from 25 to 550 issued per date, only the 1831 with a comparative issue of several hundred. Dates like 1842 to 1849 with small date are extremely rare. About 40 years ago they sold for, over $100 apiece. They did so at the Woodin sale in 1911, as in the case of the 1845, they are rare now and more valuable than ever before. Dates like 1800, 1849, 1856 and 1857 are usually much scarcer than the dates of cents. A canvas of the dealers recently showed that few had any of these dates in stock, and these not cheap. Any one of the above uacirculated is today a $5 coin. Such dates are much scarcer than the cents of the same dates. The half cent circulated around Philadelphia where minted and seldom got far away from the place of mintage.
Harry Chapman accumulated the largest lot but those all got sold and I noticed nobody offers 100 lots of half cents any more. So the half cent may be reckoned a fast disappearing item and becoming very scarce with prices going up fast.