The Internet and Coin Collection

Question: I have been told that Indian and Lincoln cents struck at San Francisco in 1909 were of a different alloy than used later. Is this true? – P. T.

Answer: I am not aware of the chemical analysis of the metal used to strike 1909-S and 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln cents, but I do know that the appearance of these are different. Uncirculated pieces that have never been cleaned show a pronounced light yellow coloration, often with streaks of light brown. This is probably due to peculiarities of the strip rolling process during the preparation of the metal. Cleaned coins do not show this characteristic, but uncleaned pieces nearly always do. The “warm orange” color of Indian and Lincoln cents struck at Philadelphia in 1909 is entirely different.

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