US Coins

Lincoln cent book available in its fourth edition

An expanded and revised fourth edition of “A Guide Book to Lincoln Cents” is available from Whitman Publishing.

Image courtesy of Whitman Publishing.

Whitman Publishing has released an expanded and revised fourth edition of its best-selling Guide Book of Lincoln Cents.

It continues in the popular tradition of the other Bowers Series numismatic guides, which number more than two dozen volumes. The 328-page full-color book is available online at and from booksellers nationwide.

The new edition includes a thorough market analysis for each date and Mint mark of Lincoln cent produced through 2023, with pricing in up to nine circulated and Mint State grades, plus Proof grades. It features hundreds of photographs, and insight on U.S. Mint designers and sculptors, error coins, patterns, proposed Bicentennial designs, and more.

Appendices explore the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee’s review of the 2010 Union Shield reverse, a snapshot of the Lincoln cent market in 1946, and how to get a new die variety listed in collector publications such as the “Red Book.” An illustrated appendix on Abraham Lincoln tokens and medals, by the late Fred L. Reed, shows the president’s broader influence on American numismatics.

Generations of coin collectors have grown up with the Lincoln cent, first minted in 1909 and today the nation’s longest-running coin series. Author Q. David Bowers provides a detailed study of this classic coin, including history, grading, market values, and more. Each Lincoln cent is illustrated in full color, with high-resolution enlargements for important doubled dies and other varieties. Mintages, specifications, and retail values in multiple grades (including brown, red/brown, and red Mint State) add to the book’s reference value. More than 750 photographs illustrate the text.

Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker calls the coins an evergreen series. “Many active hobbyists collect Lincoln cents,” he writes. “So do people who don’t consider themselves numismatists, but enjoy saving interesting coins. Among other currently circulating coinage only Washington quarters — specifically, the 1999 to 2008 State quarters — have matched their broad popularity.”

On the technical and production side, A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents covers die preparation, the coining process, distribution, design modifications, Proofs, mint marks, and other specialized topics. An appendix by professional numismatist Fred Weinberg discusses errors and misstruck cents.

On the market side, the book explains how to specialize in Lincoln cents, and gives advice on determining authenticity, analyzing color and strike, being a smart buyer, realities of the marketplace, comparative rarities, full details, certification, establishing fair market prices, and more.

The late David W. Lange, director of research for Numismatic Guaranty Co., wrote the fourth edition’s foreword. “No one captures the appeal of collecting coins like Bowers,” he said. “To read A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents is to learn this series in depth and to fully appreciate the changing face of the Lincoln cent over more than a century.”

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