I was at the Virginia Numismatic Association Show when John approached me and he mentioned he had a 1960-D Lincoln Cent bag that his dad had purchased quite some time ago. John said the bag had been stored in an ammo crate since 1964. John said he wanted $250.00 for this bag and the contents of the bag were 1960-D small date Lincoln Cents. I told John I only had a handful of 1960-D small date rolls, and several hundred of the 1960-D Large Date rolls. John said, you can have 100 more rolls of the 1960-D small date Lincoln Cent rolls if you buy this bag. I said OK, fine, I'll purchase the bag. John did note we would have to meet up somewhere in the not to distant future so he could get the bag to me and I could pay him for the bag. We decided to do this near his location in December 2017. We coordinated a time and place to make the sale.
In December, I pulled into the parking lot, and I seen John sitting in his vehicle. he had an older version of Coin World he was reading, about the coinage of the 1960's. He was reading about the 1960-D small date as I approached his vehicle. John seen me coming, and swung the passenger side door open for me. In the floorboard of the vehicle was the aforementioned bag, closed with three clothespins. The bag itself wasn't an ordinary bag. it was from the Treasury located in Washington DC.John welcomed me, shaking my hand, and I got into the vehicle with him. John proceeded to tell me some of the items he had read about the 1960-D small date Lincoln Cent bag, and how the bags, back in the day went for close to $2,000 usd. John's dad was a banker, and he was able to purchase this bag. Back then, the US mint was very reluctant to acknowledge that there were two versions of the 1960-D Lincoln Cent. Over time it was revealed that there were two versions, and that the 1960-D small date Lincoln Cents were far more rare than the 1960-D Large date Lincoln Cents. The price for the bag was decent, I have bought bags around this price from other sources and since John knows me, I am sure he gave me a slight break, These cents were to be Brilliant Uncirculated, 100 rolls. The bag had the Lincoln Cents in paper bank wrapped rolls, but most of them would be tightly wrapped in Tin Foil to keep the sulfur from the roll toning or damaging the luster of the Red coins within. John and I talked about the bag, the coins, the saga behind them. After about 15 minutes, we shook hands. I cheerfully handed John $250.00 cash and I carried the bag from his vehicle to mine and we departed our ways.
I have the bag close to me, so I can process several rolls a night, and I have a status update. I brought the bag into the house and dumped its contents onto a plastic table. I counted out 65 bank wrapped rolls with the tinfoil wrapped coins inside. The other 35 rolls were in the old time cent tubes which can be a pain to open. The old type cent rolls seem to shrink around the coins themselves. if they were sealed with tape, it takes two pairs of channel locks to open most of these. Then, the rolls are so tight, a towel has to be spread out on a tile or concrete floor. I get the top off, and at a 45 degree angle tap the tube pretty hard to get a few coins out of the cent tubes. Each tube offers unique challenges, but on average it takes close to 5 minutes to get all of the coins out of a single tube. One roll was packed so tight my son and I had to put it in a vise and break away the tube in order to get the coins out. So, although at times it is a challenge, it is well worth the effort.
I am about 20% of the way through the bag. Of the 20 or so rolls completed, I have approximately three to four rolls of Re-punched mint marks. I have not found any bell-ringer type coins, like the 1960-D small date over large date, or any other significant finds, but who knows what the other 80 or so rolls will hold. I have an objective to document the contents of this bag as much as I can, and as time permits, I plan on adding photos throughout this post. I want to document the types of RPM's I have pulled, potentially list all of the die pairs I see in this bag, and show the type of coins that have been pulled from the bag. I have seen both the tin foil wrapped coins, as well as one or two rolls of coins that weren't wrapped in tin foil which produced an array of purple-ish toned Lincoln cents.
Over time I will add content to this article. Its both a tribute to John and his dad, as well as a treasure to find bags like this that are still available for purchase. Each coin to me is like a single present, one at a time these coins are looked over and one does not know what will be displayed until it is under the glass.
Standby for another update, hopefully with photos, probably before Christmas.