Ever wonder how many 1975 Lincoln pennies are floating around out there in circulation? No, don’t need to look up mintage figures… Those don’t really mean much of anything in the context of how many coins of a given type exist today or can be found in commerce. That’s what Lincoln cent expert Chuck Daughtrey is trying to figure out, and he’s hoping to enlist coin collectors — including you — to help provide the answers so many folks want to know. So, he’s beginning The Cent Project 2020.
“I want to run a project where people across the nation take a small sampling of circulating cents,” explains Daughtrey, “and separate them by date and mint mark and report to a central source so we can reasonably use statistics and a bit of math to figure out answers to these questions and more. Which of the early zinc issues has seen the most attrition since it was issued? Are there any critically endangered issues we should hold at any grade? How could we ever know the answer to these questions?”
He says collectors across the country have wondered for years what the true mintage proportions of the seven different 1982 varieties are. “They have wondered for years whether the poor quality control over the first decade of the zinc cent had an ill-effect on what remains in circulation. Or perhaps you are among the vast number of hoarders pulling any pre-zinc issued cent out of change hoping to cash in on its 95% copper composition and are wondering just how many of these coins have already been snarfed up by like-minded collectors.”
Nitty Gritty About The Cent Project 2020
- Looking to sort and count 1/100th of all of circulating one cent coins
- About 22 billion in circulation means we need to count at least 220 million
- At $50 per person, that’s 44,000 people. We could do it with 29,500 people at $75 each
What We Do…
- Every person sorts, separates, and annotates their findings in a spreadsheet. One box ($25), up to four or five boxes per person if they are very generous.
- They turn their spreadsheet in to their coordinator, then hangs onto the coins until the project is over to avoid duplicate counting of any of the coins.
- The spreadsheets will be merged into a national database, and a dozen numismatic experts across the country will be invited to comment and write on the data.
- Their findings along with the data will be published for everyone to see on the internet.
For more information, please check out The Cent Project 2020 website.