The US Mint Lincoln Cent Birthplace two-roll set surprisingly sold out Thursday, according to a Mint website notice. Although the Mint was clear in stating the Lincoln rolls would be available for a "limited time only," Mint watchers did not anticipate they would be gone in less than two weeks.
The coins -- featuring a log cabin design symbolic of Abraham Lincoln's birthplace and childhood, and the first redesigned penny in 50 years -- began circulating on the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, Feb. 12, 2009.
As the public began discovering how difficult it was to find the circulating pennies early, the Mint delighted many by announcing it would sell two-roll sets of Lincolns.
On Friday, March 13, the Mint began offering two-rolls containing $1 worth of equally divided Philadelphia and Denver pennies for $8.95, plus $4.95 for shipping and handling.
Despite what seemed like a high price for many, 63,772 of the sets were sold in about a week's time. Mere days later the total moved up to the final 96,000 according to Mint sales figures published this week.
The Mint looks to have made a tidy and quick profit with collectors paying $895,000 (plus shipping and handing) for $100,000 worth of pennies. Those who wanted the coins but waited, will now have to pay more in the secondary market, or hope to eventually scoop some up in change.
In other related Lincoln coin news, the demand for Lincoln Bicentennial Coins is equally hot. The uncirculated Lincoln dollar sold out Tuesday. The proof version is likely to be gone within a day or two. Combined, collectors have purchased 447,868 of the coins. Only 450,000 are available as 50,000 or being reserved for a five coin set to include a Lincoln proof silver dollar and proofs of the four 2009 Lincoln Cents.