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If there is one coin that I and millions of other coin collectors love putting in coin albums, it has to be the Lincoln cent.
For good reason:
- It’s one of the first coins we ever started collecting.
- Most dates are pretty affordable to buy for your collection
- Pennies are easy to find in everyday pocket change.
Besides, Lincoln cents have been with us for more than a century – since 1909 to be exact — so it’s no wonder that this beloved little coin is found in millions of coin collections.
Ways To Organize Pennies
Of course, this is a common progression among coin collectors. Our collections begin with single specimens and grow to include dozens, if not hundreds, of coins.
When collecting coins that are part of a series — as is usually the case with Lincoln cents — it’s best to have a safe, organized place to store your collection, such as in coin albums.
Why I Use Coin Albums
In my case, I initially kept my Lincoln cent collection in coin folders until it grew to include rarer dates and specimens in higher grades.
I then upgraded to deluxe coin albums that, unlike my coin folders, display both sides of the coins.
Coin albums are not only among the most expensive coin holders on the market, but they’re also among the most protective because they lack many of the harmful chemicals found in some other coin holders — such as PVC and sulfur.
PVC is found in many coin albums that contain plastic, and sulfur is common in coin holders made of cardboard or paper. Both of these chemicals are notorious for ruining coins over months and /or years..
However, one thing to stress about buying expensive coin albums over more conventional coin folders is that the cost of a high-end coin album is really only necessary if you’re going to store highly expensive coins. Circulated coins — especially those that are of lower grades or even common — need not be placed in the fanciest holders.
Here’s more about coin albums vs coin folders.
Weighing The Options
Coin folders and coin albums are not always ideal for displaying a Lincoln cent collection (or any other type of collection) because the coins are all contained within the confines of a book. They usually can’t be displayed all at once.
To solve that problem, there are Lincoln penny boards.
Modeled after the original Lincoln cent holders first made in the 1930s, Lincoln penny boards are cardboard panels — suitable for framing — that hold up to 90 Lincoln cents, all at a glance.
These coin holders are very popular among the nostalgic and those who like to show off their Lincoln cent coin collections in a presentation format.
However, a penny board does not show both the obverse and reverse of the coins contained within — which may be an important factor to consider for some.
I have not personally tried Lincoln penny boards, but from what I understand, they are a terrific idea for coin collectors who want to give their collection some retro flair and a handsome place to showcase their Lincoln cent collections.
Me? I’ve still opted to keep my Lincoln cent collection tucked away in a coin album. But who knows? My preference may change.
No matter what type of coin holders you decide to buy, the lesson to be gleaned here is that there are many kinds of coin protectors on the market. And it is truly up to you to decide which features and benefits work best for you.
Conversely, there are some downsides to each of the coin holders mentioned above. Decide which combination of pros and cons weighs most in your favor, and pick the holder that speaks to you the most. In the end, what really matters is that your coins are provided the level of protection necessary, and that you are happy with the type of coin holder you’ve chosen.
My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I'm a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I'm also the editor at CDN Publishing (a trusted source for the price of U.S. rare coins), editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I've contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I've also authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins — and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!