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Philly’s Penny Finally Earns its ‘P’

Posted by Chattanooga Coin on 8/30/2017
Philly’s Penny Finally Earns its ‘P’
Once upon a time, the Philadelphia Mint was all alone in the world … well, in the United States anyway. Ye Old MintYou see, a need arose in 18th Century America for a minting facility of its own due to the numismatic stew that existed at the time that consisted of coinage from Mexico, Spain, France, England and other nations. So with David Rittenhouse named as its first Director, the Philadelphia Mint officially opened in 1793. Not only was the United States Mint facility in Philadelphia the FIRST Mint to begin operations, it was also the ONLY one in existence for the first 42 years of its operations. Therefore, the need to identify coins as to their origin with a mintmark or privy mark such as was common in Europe was never necessary until the need arose for additional branch mints to ease the production burden on the Mint in Philadelphia. So that is why the Philly Mint traditionally has never carried a Mintmark, not due to some sense of arrogance or modesty. Mint marks were necessary for OTHER mints in order to distinguish their coins from all other coinage which was known to originate from the Philly MInt because of the fact that they had NO mintmark.


The year 2017 is significant because April 2, 2017 marks the 225th Anniversary of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. Stamping ProcessThe Mint solicited suggestions from employees for ideas on the best way to mark the occasion. The one that garnered the most acceptance was the suggestion to add the ‘P’ mintmark to the obverse of the Lincoln Cent. This was revolutionary due to the fact that at only three other times in its history has the Philly Mint struck a ‘P’ mintmark on coinage. It was first used from 1942-1945 on the silver wartime nickels. It appeared again on the 1979 SBA Dollar. And finally, it was used on ALL Philly coinage in 1980 EXCEPT for the penny! So the Lincoln Cent has NEVER before been struck with the ‘P’ mintmark, making that suggestion a wildly popular one! It should be noted that the Mintmark will be used ONLY on 2017 Lincolns. When the 2017 issue year is gone, so is the mintmark. The 2018 Lincolns will revert to “No Mintmark” coins. THUS …and THIS is the BIG THING! … the Mint has created a “ONE YEAR TYPE COIN” never to be repeated!


The issuance of a “P” mintmarked Lincoln Cent is arguably the biggest news to come out of the Mint for 2017. Yet it has been introduced with Philadelphia’s Second Mint facilitysurprisingly little fanfare publicly. This fact is the main reason we wanted to give our customers a heads up on this once in a lifetime numismatic event. Very few of these new “P” Lincolns have shown up in circulation to date. But that is bound to change soon. If production plans are typical, then we’d expect several billion of these cents to be struck for circulation. The Philly Mint releases the coins in bins of several hundred thousand to armored services who in turn roll the cents for banks. The jostling of the coins produce contact marks on many which make finding pristine high grade specimens a treasure hunt. But since they all are uncirculated, at the low cost of penny rolls, it’s a hunt worth making. Later in the year, the release of the Mint’s uncirculated coin sets will offer a higher probability of obtaining those high grade Lincolns, but they’ll come at a higher cost as well. For now, we’re offering the chance to obtain these One Year Type Lincolns in bank wrapped rolls, individually, or boxed and certified with security tape as First Releases, and at a very cheap per-coin price. Who knows what gems … and how many … await the purchaser? We have a few gems already slabbed for those who want the work already done, but we recommend you take advantage of these very early rolled uncirculated Lincolns while they are cheap! The treasure hunt could yield exactly that!

- You can shop for the new 2017-P Lincoln Cents below this article -

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