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We didn’t know what to expect when we purchased an original roll of 1958-D Lincoln cents for $15 from a local coin shop.
1958 marked the final year of production for the Wheat Reverse Lincoln cent–or just plain Wheat cent–one of the most collected coin types in the United States. The coins we bought had been kept in a paper roll with the markings of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco since their release.
Is it possible that the roll might contain valuable Superb Gems or a few interesting die varieties? We’d have to break open the roll to find out.
So now that we set everyone’s expectations too high, let’s come back down to Earth.
Speculators and collectors put rolls like this away by the thousands as part of the roll craze in America during the 1950s and early ’60s.
Plus, these coins were struck by high-speed presses and most will exhibit grade-limiting characteristics like contact marks, copper spots, or discoloration. But a few might really stand out!
You can only break open an original roll of Wheat cents once, and this time capsule of mid-20th-century numismatics is sure to spark an interesting conversation.
What do you think of these Mint Red Denver Mint pennies? Let us know in the comments.
CoinWeek editor Charles Morgan narrates.
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Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker’s 100 Greatest Modern World Coins has gotten five-star reviews on Amazon and Lou Golino and David T. Alexander both gave the book their highest recommendations. To secure a copy before they sell out, go to our supply site at supplies.coinweek.com.
I was born in 1958 so I would love to find one..