20 Million Lincoln Rail Splitter Pennies Sold in Four Days

May 19, 2009

2009 Lincoln Rail Splitter PennyBlazing past all expectations, collectors purchased more than 400,000 rolls of the 2009 Lincoln Rail Splitter cent in just four days, the latest United States Mint sales figures show.

The Mint launched the coin Thursday to an excited public (see video of cent launch in Indiana). On the same day, two-roll sets — one roll of 50 coins for the United States Mint at Philadelphia and one roll of 50 coins for the United States Mint at Denver — went on sale for $8.95. Or, perhaps more clearly, for 8.95 cents per penny.

As of Sunday, the Mint said 200,055 of the two-roll sets have sold for a total of 400,110 rolls, adding up to more than 20 million pennies.

A staggering level that greatly outshines the very impressive performance of the first Log Cabin cent where 96,000 sets were sold in less than two weeks. To be fair, the Mint unexpectedly stopped selling those rolls, and that helped create further excitement for the second launch. And, obviously, the sales limit was greatly increased for the new cent.

The public, and collectors specifically, apparently had little objections in paying premiums for the rolls. In running the numbers and discounting shipping, the Mint has grossed a whopping $1.79 million ($8.95 x 200,055) for the pennies so far.

For the Mint’s part, a clear motivation was getting more pennies out to a demanding public. And to the Mint’s credit, they have not shut down sales of the coins. The action may help reduce Lincoln coin prices overall. After the first 2009 log cabin cent launch, prices for the pennies in the secondary market went (and are) much higher than original Mint prices.

Check out current eBay auctions for Rail Splitter pennies. Will these prices decline when everyone learns 20 million were sold by the Mint in four days? Or, will it just add to the excitement? For sure, the longer and the amount of sets the Mint continues to sell will have a greater impact on prices.