Lincoln Cent Society Turns 25
By Dr. Sol Taylor
At the Queen Mary coin show in Long Beach in February 1982, several collectors asked why there was no reference book just on Lincoln cents. There were reference books on silver dollars at the time. We circulated flyers to join the new SLCC at this and other coin shows, and before long, we had our first 100 charter members.
Dues was $7.50 per year, and we published a quarterly called "Lincoln Sense." It was a crude, 12-page booklet with coin news, auction results, an editorial and collector tips.
With increases in postage and newer printing costs, annual dues were raised to $10 by 1985. By then, each quarterly issue contained a mail-bid sale consisting entirely of Lincoln cents consigned by the various members.
The mail-bid sale proved to be SLCC's strongest feature, as nearly every coin in most grades came up for sale over a year's time. One consignor submitted a set of matte proofs (without the 1909 VDB). Many BU rolls of early dates coins came up for sale in the 1980s. Eventually, by demand, we included Indian head cents.
By the end of the first year, SLCC had also sponsored the publication of the first of a series of guides known as "The Standard Guide to the Lincoln Cent" (1982 edition). The second edition was greatly expanded and issued in 1988, while the third came out in 1992. The current and largest edition, the fourth, was released in 1999.
In the 1990s, membership peaked at over 500 for the first time, and we eventually had members in all 50 states simultaneously. SLCC also has members in Great Britain, Puerto Rico and Canada. SLCC appeared in various press releases in the numismatic media, and each time, membership grew.
In 2000, SLCC changed its format and its journal to the "Lincoln Cent Quarterly." It still contained a mail-bid sale, major auction results, news and editorials. Many members submitted finds, discoveries, and other news bits.
Membership tailed off as costs rose and dues were raised to $15 a year, with a new, two-year membership for $25. As an incentive for new membership, SLCC has been offering a free copy of the book, the fourth edition of "The Standard Guide to the Lincoln Cent," with each new two-year membership.
At the summer American Numismatic Association seminars in Colorado Springs in 2004 and 2005 and the ANA convention in San Francisco in 2005, SLCC actively recruited 50 new members.
Some of the highlight items handled by SLCC included the unique and famous (or infamous) 1959-D wheatback cent, two different 1910 VDB cents (one a matte proof), the unique 1943-S cent struck off-center on a silver dime planchet with a small rim clip (a very rare triple error, the only one known), many proof Indian head cents, original Brilliant Uncirculated rolls of 1919 cents and 1926 cents, early discovery of an Almost Uncirculated 1917 doubled-die cent, a collection of thirty-two 1936 doubled-die cents (all five varieties included), an original bronze plaque of Lincoln by coin artist Victor D. Brenner dated 1909, and two of the ultra-rare and valuable 1969-S doubled-die cents.
In 2005, die variety specialist and artist Chuck Daughtrey was named editor of the Quarterly, and with new graphics, the overall appearance has been greatly enhanced.
Membership is available at the special two-year package rate of $25, which includes a complimentary copy of "The Standard Guide to the Lincoln Cent," fourth edition, shipped postpaid. A sample of the current issue of the "Lincoln Cent Quarterly" is available for $1 in cash or stamps at SLCC, 13515 Magnolia Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.
Dr. Sol Taylor of Sherman Oaks is president of the Society of Lincoln Cent Collectors and author of The Standard Guide to the Lincoln Cent. Click here for ordering information.
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