US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for July 6, 2020: Cent Project is worthy

An initiative to record the surviving population of Lincoln, Memorial cents in circulation, will require up to 44,000 coin sorters throughout the country.

Image courtesy of Charles Daughtrey and The Cent Project.

The Cent Project 2020, an effort launched by Lincoln cent specialist and dealer Charles Daughtrey, is a worthy project that will succeed only if the coin collecting community rises up and volunteers to participate.

As senior editor Jeff Starck reported earlier, “Daughtrey is asking individuals to each sort through 10,000 cents (two boxes, or 200 rolls), and is attempting to coordinate enough participants around the country, linked by geography.”

The goal is to gather volunteers to search circulated boxes of Lincoln cents from their local banks and record a count of year and Mint mark for each box.

Daughtrey estimates that it will “take 44,000 people scattered across the United States to cumulatively sort through 220 million cents, approximately one percent of all Lincoln Memorial cents in circulation,” Jeff wrote in his initial coverage of the project. That is a daunting number of volunteers for a daunting project, but it is worthy and deserving as much support as can be given.

To participate, contact Daughtrey through the special Facebook page he has established.

He asks, “Please do not start on what you think this project is before I have a chance to outline everything for you. I will have a spreadsheet for you to use, plus full information about everything, from who I need to participate all the way into how to go about sorting the coins as time permits.”

Volunteers have stepped forward and have begun the process of searching through cents and recording the results. The current coin shortage brought about by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions has caused some disruptions. In response, the project has been extended into 2021 to better ensure that a thorough count can be made.

This is an exciting project. When the results are in, we’ll have better information about what cents remain in circulation. Will we get any surprises? I look forward to learning.


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