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CentSearcher's Blog

03 Sep 2020

Book Review: A Guide Book to Lincoln Cents

Collecting Tips | CentSearcher

Being primarily a cent collector, this was my first numismatic book. This one in particular is the 2nd edition, and I believe there is a 3rd edition out there. To sum up all that I am about to say, this is a great resource for beginners and experts that is well written and I highly recommend it. The book covers a lot of information in depth, starting with the history. Here the author explains the creation of the Lincoln cent, the different historical events that affected the series, and the public's reaction to certain designs, releases, and varieties. I found this part of the book very enjoyable and easy to read, because it is written in a chapter book format. Once the full history of the Lincoln Cent is covered, the book proceeds to discuss other vital aspects of Lincoln Cents, such as Grading standards, the minting process, and how to be a smart buyer. To close the book, there is 150 pages of analysis and market guide on the series. For each year and mint they include a high quality photo, mintage number, a price guide for each grade, notes on striking, sharpness, and errors, and an overview of what all happened that year. This sums up the main topics of the book, an overall it covers all the fundamentals of the Lincoln Cent series as well as a lot of detailed background information. I highly recommend this book if you are collecting Lincoln Cents, and if there are any other US coin series you focus on their is likely a Whitman guidebook for it just like this one. The book costs $19.95, and remember that ANA members get a 10% discount on the Whitman website. That is it for now. Happy researching, and keep on collecting! Your fellow Numismatist, Timothy

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03 Sep 2020

Coin Roll Hunting Pennies

Collecting Tips | CentSearcher

Whether you are looking for errors and varieties or just want to fill up some spaces in your collection, coin roll hunting will not disappoint. Pennies are the best denomination to start with in my opinion, as errors, wheats, and hole fillers are plentiful. One roll consists of 50 pennies, making it easy to search them in bulk. For me searching 10 rolls a week is continually increasing and upgrading my collection. As long as you keep low expectations, you are bound to be surprised.Acquiring the rolls is a smooth process as long as you (or you parents) have a bank account, and if you are polite. Take whatever they offer you, and do not be picky with what rolls they offer you. If you plan on returning on a weekly basis do your best to be a good customer. Now, if you do not have a bank account there are several alternatives. Before doing anything go ahead and check what change you have lying around the house. You can also get bags of pennies from customer service at Walmart and other stores. Most people also have a family member with a large mason jar full of pennies, and grandparents sometimes have some old coins lying around. Simple things like this could pay off eventually. Once you have you query, it is time for the fun part.There are a good variety of things to search for, though checking for every single error can be time consuming. What is nice about coin roll hunting is that you can have it fit your schedule the way you want it to. You choose how many rolls you search, how often you coin roll hunt, and what you look for. On top of that, it is risk free, for you get the exact amount of money as you give the bank, only in coins. I would still recommend to always check for the errors and varieties that I have listed below.Wheat Cents Perhaps the favorite coin to come across, wheat pennies can easily be found in circulation. Expect most that you find to be minted in the 1940s and the 1950s. There is no consistent pattern in which you find wheats, though I typically come across at least one every ten rolls.Hole Fillers & Upgrades It is a no brainer to search for the those years you need for your collection. But after a month of hunting or so, most of what you need will be pre 1950s, which is not consistently found in circulation. Upgrades will likely take up half of your finds by then, and one will almost always prefer the higher grade over their current worn coin. And even if you find a high grade older coin that you do not need, it would not hurt to hold on to it.Errors & Varieties Errors and varieties are hard to find in circulation, but once you stumble across one it is well worth the wait. It did not take me long before I found a pretty nice example of an off center cent. While there are dozens of errors out there, you should always search for the following:1. 1969 S, 1970 S, and 1995 DDO2. Close AM and Wide AM varieties3. 2009 Formative years DD hand4. Off center strikes and any other noticeable errorsLow mintages Of course, it would not hurt to hold on to a few of the lower mintage years. 1960 small date and the 1982 zinc large or small date coins could be semi key dates in the future.Once the search is complete you could either re roll them and return them to the bank or dump them into a coin machine that some banks have. If possible you should return them to a different bank, because I would not think a bank teller would want to hand you a thousand pennies just for you to return nearly all of them later. As a final note, there is a nationwide coin shortage because of Covid-19 so you might want to wait until it all blows over before you start your coin roll hunting.That is it for now. There are plenty of other resources on the internet and in books if you wish to go a bit deeper into the aspects of coin roll hunting.Happy Hunting, and keep on collecting!Your fellow Numismatist, Timothy

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