For the past 20 years, the “Red Copper Collection” has won almost all of the top Registry Set awards for Lincoln Cents. The famed collection was carefully put together one coin at a time over the past 50 years by an advanced East Coast collector.
But now other collectors have the opportunity to own part of it, as the collection is being auctioned by GreatCollections in a series of auctions in late August and early September. It is the finest Proof Lincoln Cent set ever formed, and therefore, the finest to ever appear in auction.
With 97 coins in total, it includes one of each year issued from 1909 through 2022.
The collection starts with the rare Matte Proof issues from 1909 to 1916. The key 1909 VDB Proof is graded PCGS Proof-67+ RD with a Gold CAC sticker. It is the king of Lincoln Cent Proofs, tied with one other example at PCGS, although the Red Copper example has the coveted Gold CAC designation, denoting that the quality of the coin exceeds CAC’s strict standards for coin grading. It was formerly part of Norman Stack’s type set.
Three others from the Matte Proof series have been graded Proof-68 RD, all with CAC approval: the 1909 (non-VDB), the 1910, and the 1914. The eye appeal is outstanding, and each coin is the absolute finest and most attractive example available. The regular 1909 Proof (non-VDB) was previously owned by John Story Jenks. Several were purchased from original Proof sets, including the 1910, the 1913, the 1914, and the 1915, and in two cases, the owner had to acquire the complete Proof set just to retain the penny for his collection.
In later dates, one of the keys is Red Copper’s 1951 Lincoln, graded Proof-67 DCAM, and is the only example graded by PCGS with the DCAM designation. For the same year, 1951, a second example is present, graded PCGS Proof-68 CAMEO and it is tied with one other as the finest CAMEO known.
With perhaps one or two minor exceptions, none of the coins have ever appeared in auction previously, which is almost unheard of in today’s numismatic market.
Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections said, “The Red Copper Collection is a privilege to handle. In showing these coins to visiting clients at our office over the past two weeks, everyone has been blown away by the superb quality. The number of hours that the owner put into this collection over the past 50 years can be seen immediately when you view the coins. It’s really no surprise that every coin that qualifies for CAC is CAC-Approved.”
John Albanese, president of CAC said, “The well-known collector who put this together over the decades studied the quality of each coin very carefully and showed patience in waiting for the very best of each date to appear on the market – in some cases, this meant waiting years for the right coin. It is likely we will not see another complete collection of Proof Lincoln Cents in such high grade appear on the market again at one time.”
Bidding on the Red Copper Collection will start at $1, as all coins are being sold unreserved over three weeks of auctions at GreatCollections, with bidding to end on August 28, September 4, and September 11. The collection will be on display at the ANA World’s Fair of Money, at the GreatCollections table 1105.
Highlights from the Red Copper Proof Lincoln Cent Collection:
- 1909 VDB PCGS Proof-67+ RD Gold CAC
- 1909 PCGS Proof-68 RD CAC (Old Green Holder)
- 1910 PCGS Proof-68 RD CAC
- 1911 PCGS Proof-66+ RD CAC
- 1912 PCGS Proof-65 RD CAC (Old Green Holder)
- 1913 PCGS Proof-67+ RD CAC
- 1914 PCGS Proof-68 RD CAC
- 1915 PCGS Proof-67 RD CAC (Old Green Holder)
- 1916 PCGS Proof-65 RD CAC (Old Green Holder)
- 1936 Type 1 PCGS Proof-66 RD CAC (Old Green Holder)
- 1936 Type 2 PCGS Proof-67 RD CAC (Old Green Holder)
- 1937 PCGS Proof-67 RD CAMEO CAC
- 1938 PCGS Proof-67 RD CAMEO CAC
- 1939 PCGS Proof-67+ RD CAC
- 1940 PCGS Proof-67+ RD CAC
- 1941 PCGS Proof-67 RD CAC
- 1942 PCGS Proof-67 RD CAMEO CAC
- 1951 PCGS Proof-67 DCAM
- 1951 PCGS Proof-68 CAMEO
Aside from being on view at the ANA’s World Fair of Money in August, the Red Copper Collection is available to view at the Irvine, California headquarters of GreatCollections by appointment. To view high-quality images and register to bid, visit www.greatcollections.com or call 1-800-442-6467.