Wheaties

Not the cereal, the coins: the Lincoln pennies that were minted from 1909 to 1958, with the wheat sheafs on the reverse where modern pennies show the Lincoln Memorial. I collect them, and have a big box with a few thousand of them floating around, plus a couple of collection books which are complete except for ten proper pennies and two famous errors, as follows:

1909 VDB S

1909 S

1910 S

1912 S

1914 D

1915 D

1922

1922 plain (an error in the minting)

1923 S

1924 D

1931 S

1955 double die (an error in the minting)

I should note that I started one of my collection books when I was about 12 years old, and only finished it recently. It’s a low octane interest, but when the itch arises, I always scratch it, because there’s something oddly satisfying about sitting down with a newly acquired roll of Wheaties and reviewing it to see if there are any missing coins from the collection contained therein. I used to be able to do it without assistance, though these days I need a magnifying glass to make the dates and mint marks visible to me.

I sent my niece and nephew 500 Wheaties each this year, along with two collection books, to see if they’ll take to coin collecting as well. It’s a good time to get a Wheatie collection wrapped up these days, since in 2009, the Lincoln Memorial version of the penny becomes obsolete (every 50 years, they change it up), making it the next fun collectible. Which is good, because I can buy a Lincoln Memorial collection book and spend the next 30+ years playing with it as I have with the Wheatie book, since ultimately it’s the searching for the pennies that’s more rewarding than the finding of the pennies.

Though I wouldn’t complain any if my quest ended with an unexpected 1909 VDB S.

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