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I'm new here

Brian McMillen


My thoughts and understanding about putting together a complete Lincoln Memorial Cent set.

I'm completely new to the hobby and unfortunately I don't have anyone close to rely on for solid information about specifics regarding mintage of the Lincoln Memorial Cent. Here's what I know:

The Lincoln Memorial Cent was first minted in 1959. From 1959 to 1964 it was minted both at Philadelphia and Denver. There are 3 basic versions then from these years, 1) Philadelphia general circulation, 2) Philadelphia proof, and 3) Denver general circulation.

From 1965 to 1967 the US Mint did not put mintmarks on any of the coins, even though coins were produced at more than one mint. In addition, even though proof and mint sets were not issued, the Special Mint Set was issued for each of the three years, making 2 basic versions of the coin for these three years, 1) general circulation and 2) SMS.

From 1968 to present the US Mint in San Francisco has minted only proof coins while both Philadelphia and Denver have minted general circulation coins. In addition, from 1968 to 1974 the San Francisco mint also minted general circulation coins.

Therefore, from 1968 to 1974 there are 4 versions of the coin, 1) Philadelphia general circulation, 2) Denver circulation, 3) San Francisco Proof, and 4) San Fransisco general circulation.

In 1975 the San Francisco mint began producing proof only coins, so with the exception of the cent composition in 1982 changing from copper to zinc, there have been 3 basic verions of the coin since 1975.

So from 1975 to 2005 there are the 3 versions of 1) Philadelphia general circulation, 2) Denver general circulation, and 3) San Francisco proof.

In 2005 both the Philadelphia and Denver mints changed the US Mint sets to a satin finish, thereby changing the coin from 3 standard versions to technically 5. They are 1) Philadelphia general circulation, 2) Philadelphia satin uncirculated, 3) Denver general circulation, 4) Denver satin uncirulated, and 5) San Francisco proof.

My definition of general circulation allows room for the fact that coins can be purchased in an uncirculated state, ie from busting a US Mint set up, but those coins are still technically the exact same as the general circulation coins, just untouched.

Also, I'm aware that there are several versions over the decades from small date/large date, coin composition, close and wide AM, and everything else in between. I found a wonderful resource online at www.lincolncentresource.com that I would suggest for anyone, novice or expert.

I guess my question is, am I missing anything "version" wise? I really want to be thorough in putting my sets together and I've been in the hobby for about 3 weeks now. Any feedback, guidance, or correction on my information is greatly appreciated. Thanks and happy collecting!



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