There’s nothing more satisfying to a coin collector than finishing up a coin folder. That was true 40 years ago when my friend Bob and I would go through our Whitman folders and find empty holes that we wanted to fill. Some of them were easy to complete. That includes these:
- Lincoln Cent Number 2 from 1941 – 1974
- Jefferson Nickel Number 1 from 1938 – 1961
- Jefferson Nickel Number 2 from 1962 – 1995
- Roosevelt Dime Number 1 from 1946 – 1964
There was one folder that I didn’t mention here, the Lincoln Cent Number 1 from 1909 – 1940. By the time I went to college, I put my blue Whitman folders away, not touching them again for 35 years.
Return Of The Lincoln Folder
A year ago, I started looking at those blue Whitman folders, especially the Lincoln Cent Number 1. Out of the 90 holes in that folder, 13 were unfilled. I also noticed that the outside of the folder was taped where it was torn and the 1919 hole had a nail to hold the cent. Looking at the folder, there were two things I wanted to do. The first thing was to get a new folder. The second was to get closer to completing it. So, I went to the local coin shop and bought the new Whitman folder. After that, I got the first of the 13 holes filled with the 1910-S. Thinking back, I could not get this one back in my teens, but today it was easily done.
Around Christmas, 2019, my friend would give me the next hole filler, the 1924-D, which is on the second page. This would leave one hole left on the second page, and two on the third page.
On February 1, 2020, Bob and I would go to two coin shops just to look for Lincoln Cents to fill our Number 1 albums. In the first coin shop, I purchased two cents, the 1913-S and 1926-S. Bob got three cents including a tough one, the 1909-S. I can’t blame him getting it as he got it for a reasonable price. We then went and had lunch down the street and noticed there was one I could easily get, a 1931-D. I looked it up on my phone and said they averaged at $7 in average circulation. So, Bob and I went to another coin shop where I would ask for one. The coin dealer had three and I picked the best one which looked in Fine to Very Fine condition. With that purchase, it brought the folder down to 8 unfilled holes.
San Francisco Cents
If you’ve been collecting for some time, you would know that for many years, there were fewer cents minted in San Francisco than in Philadelphia and Denver. That was true for most of the 1910s, with the exception on 1914. In fact, the San Francisco cents between 1910 and 1915 had mintages under 10 million each. There were four that I needed in the 1910s, the 1911-S, 1912-S, 1914-S, 1915-S. These all have low mintages, but are not tough to get for the Number 1 folder.
There are four key dates included in the Number 1 folder. My friend got one of them, the 1909-S which has the highest mintage of the four at 1.8 million. The next highest mintage would be the 1914-D at 1.2 million. One in Good condition could set you back $200 and Very Fine goes for $425. Next is the 1931-S with a low mintage of 866,000. Since the 1931-S was hoarded more than the 1914-D in higher conditions, a Very Fine specimen only goes for $100. Not bad for a coin with a mintage under a million. Of course, the granddaddy of all of the Lincoln Cents is the 1909-S VDB. Only 484,000 were minted. This will be tough to add to the folder as one in Good condition goes for $600. I don’t if I could put this in a folder, an album maybe. I don’t have to worry about that at the moment as I can’t dish out $600 for the cent. Could you do it?
Are You Filling Holes?
For a coin collector, finishing a folder is not only fun, but you get a sense of completion. Then, you can start on another folder. You don’t have to just do modern folder like I mentioned above. You can work on older coins like Indian Cents, Buffalo Nickels, Mercury Dimes and Franklin Half Dollars. Of course some of these folders will have difficult key dates like a 1877 Indian Cent and 1916-D Mercury Dime, but it will still be fun to get most of the holes filled. Just like my friend and I, kids can have fun filling these albums and filling all the holes and it’s a great way to start collecting.