Specialist assembles collection of 53 Proof 1909 Lincoln, V.D.B. cents

Collector zeroes in on issue bearing designer's initials
By , Coin World
Published : 10/06/14
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Some collectors of Lincoln cents would consider themselves lucky to have one Matte Proof example of a 1909 Lincoln, V.D.B. cent from the reported mintage of just 420 coins.

Yet, what would possess a collector to amass a collection incorporating 53 examples?

The collector, who asked to remain anonymous, put it simply:

“Bought one and then another and then slowly fell into wanting as many as possible. Sort of fell into it. Liked buying them. No more sophisticated than that. Realized it was an important coin.”

Now, however, the collector has decided to sell his collection through a dealer, though details on dispersion of the collection have not been released as yet.

The collector said he had no magic goal set in advance when he began collecting the Proof 1909 Lincoln, V.D.B. cents in earnest some 25 years ago.

“When I got the very best one a few months ago, I decided that now was a good time to pause and let the collecting world know about the group,” the collector said.

The Philadelphia Mint struck 420 Proof examples of the 1909 Lincoln cent with designer Victor David Brenner’s V.D.B. initials on the reverse before they were removed at the order of officials. 

All but one of the 53 Proof 1909 Lincoln, V.D.B. cents in the anonymous collector’s collection are graded and encapsulated by either Professional Coin Grading Service or Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

The lone exception is a Proof 67 red example graded by Independent Coin Graders. The ICG Proof 67 coin was once part of the Walter H. Childs Collection sold Aug. 30, 1999, by Auctions by Bowers and Merena Inc. The Matte Proof Childs coin, which realized $19,550, was believed to have been purchased from the U.S. Mint by C.F. Childs.

The premier coin in the current collection is a Matte Proof specimen graded PCGS 67+ red and brown and stickered with a Certified Acceptance Corp. gold label. It is considered the finest known.

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