A date and Mint mark set of Lincoln cents is a typical starting point for a collector and examples with gorgeous, original Mint red color are particularly coveted.
Heritage offered the Jerald L. Martin Collection at its recent Florida United Numismatists auctions in Orlando, which included several finest-known examples. Over 40 years the collector worked toward his goal of assembling the all-time finest collection of Lincoln, Wheat cents in the Professional Coin Grading Service Set Registry, achieving this in 2016.
With registry sets, often coins that are common are massively expensive when they are in top grades, as was true of the set’s PCGS MS-67 red 1954 Lincoln cent, which brought a whopping $31,200 at the FUN auction.
With a mintage approaching 72 million and with many original 50-coin rolls surviving, it is perhaps surprising that PCGS has graded just six in this grade with none finer. The typical certified 1954 cent grades MS-65 red; the offered coin stands out a near total absence of contact marks and no carbon spots to detract from its deep red-orange color, with lavender and blue accents on the reverse.