GreatCollections to Offer Finest Set of Lincoln Cents


The finest set of Lincoln Cents ever assembled is set to go under the hammer in a series of auctions by GreatCollections in early 2023.

1909-S VDB Lincoln cent, graded PCGS MS-67 RD CAC

The core 150 coin set includes all coins issued from 1909 to 1958 with different mint marks and all of the major varieties. Known as "Red Copper", the collection formed by Stewart Blay has won almost all of the top Registry Set awards for Lincoln Cents for the past 20 years.

The collection is graded by Professional Coin Grading S ervice (PCGS) and every coin from 1909 to 1934 has CAC approval, as well as most later dates and all Doubled Dies.

Some of the highlights include the finest 1909-S VDB example, graded PCGS MS-67 RD CAC (it is the lone example with CAC approval) and single finest 1911, 1911-S, 1915, 1917-D, 1917-S and 1919-D. Many of the coins have never appeared on the market since PCGS launched in 1986.

1919 1c PCGS MS-69 RD CAC Finest
1919 Lincoln cent graded PCGS MS-69 RD CAC

For 1919, the example is the only wheat cent ever graded PCGS MS-69 RD CAC. The coin is pristine, as if it was specially minted and handled only with gloves since it left the coin press at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. It is a miracle any Lincoln Cent exists in this condition.

In Doubled Dies, there is no comparison. Aside from the tied-for-finest 1955 Doubled Die, graded PCGS MS-65+ RD CAC, the collection includes the finest 1958 Doubled Die, one of only three known in all grades, graded PCGS MS-65 RD CAC.

1958 1c DDO PCGS MS-65 RD CAC
1958 Lincoln cent Doubled Die, graded PCGS MS-65 RD CAC

The Doubled Dies also includes the single finest 1969-S Doubled Die, graded PCGS MS-66 RD CAC. Those three are considered the key to the Doubled Die series, and each are valued at over $100,000 each.

The owner, Stewart Blay, painstakingly purchased each coin one at a time by attending coin shows around the country and hunting down the best of the best.

"I am not even sure a single page press release about Stewart’s collection even touches the surface to explain the importance of his coins. I expect spirited bidding across the board, from not just Lincoln collectors, but also from those interested in major rarities, such as the 1958 Doubled Die and even type collectors for the 1919 graded MS-69 RD CAC," said Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections.

Russell continued "even those not graded numerically as the finest, the coins have amazing eye appeal and appear conservatively graded. Stewart has been considered the expert in this series for decades and quality was his priority when acquiring coins for his set."

John Albanese, president of CAC said, "The well-known collector who put this together over the decades studied the quality of each coin very carefully, and showed patience in waiting for the very best of each date to appear on the market – in some cases, this meant waiting years for the right coin. It is likely we will not see another Lincoln Cent collection of this caliber in the future."

Bidding on the Red Copper Collection will start at $1, as all coins are being sold unreserved over three weeks of auctions at GreatCollections, with bidding to end on January 15th, January 22nd and January 29th.

Highlights from the Red Copper Lincoln Cent Collection

  1. 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67 RD CAC
  2. 1909-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC
  3. 1910-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC
  4. 1911 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-68 RD CAC
  5. 1911-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66+ RD CAC
  6. 1912 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC
  7. 1913 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC
  8. 1913-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66+ RD CAC
  9. 1914 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC
  10. 1914-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66 RD CAC
  11. 1915 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-68 RD CAC
  12. 1915-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66 RD CAC
  13. 1917 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-68 RD CAC
  14. 1917-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66+ RD CAC
  15. 1917-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66 RD CAC
  16. 1918 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-68 RD CAC
  17. 1919 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-69 RD CAC
  18. 1919-D PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC
  19. 1922 Lincoln Cent No D PCGS MS-64 RD CAC
  20. 1923 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-68 RD CAC
  21. 1924 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC
  22. 1925-S/S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-65 RD CAC
  23. 1927-S Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC
  24. 1928-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-66+ RD CAC
  25. 1932-D Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC
  26. 1947 Lincoln Cent PCGS MS-67+ RD CAC
  27. 1955 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die PCGS MS-65+ RD CAC
  28. 1958 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die PCGS MS-65 RD CAC
  29. 1969-S Lincoln Cent Doubled Die PCGS MS-66 RD CAC
  30. 1974 Lincoln Cent Struck in Aluminum PCGS Proof-68 CAMEO

Aside from being on view at the December PCGS Members Only Show Las Vegas and January FUN Show, the Red Copper Collection is available to view at the Irvine, California headquarters of GreatCollections by appointment. To view high quality images and register to bid visit or call 1-800-442-6467.

About GreatCollections

GreatCollections, the official auction house of the American Numismatic Association, specializes in auctioning certified coins and banknotes, handling transactions from start to finish. Since its founding in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over 1 million certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States with annual sales in 2021 exceeding $235 million. Ian Russell, owner/president of GreatCollections, is a member of the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild and member of the National Auctioneers Association. For more information about GreatCollections, visit or call 800-442-6467.

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Kaiser Wilhelm

Plus side: Great for Lincoln Cent fanciers who want to amplify their collection.
Down side: Unlikely a collection of this stature will ever be assembled again.


It’s pretty hard to find a nice 1909 cent in one’s change nowadays. I believe the oldest I’ve found is a 1920-S and it’s not in uncirculated condition.

Kaiser Wilhelm

I have a 191 cent (it’s all the date shows). I’m not sure if that’s B.C. or A.D.


Well, it could be Before Clinton or After Donald. It’s more likely it’s Before Coolidge though.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Good one, Antonio. By the way, I had neglected to update that to the modernly used B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era).

Kaiser Wilhelm

I’m still laughing about those gems, Antonio. Put my mind into action; best I could come up with is Before Cassettes or After Discs.


We need to see the reverse of that 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, or it’s just another 1909-S Lincoln Cent in MS-67 condition (or is that an 8 in the NGC grading?).


Antonio, MS-67 would be a NGC 9.7

Here is how I think the mapping goes:
MS-70 = 10
MS-69 = 9.9
MS-68 = 9.8
MS-67 = 9.7
MS-66 = 9.6
MS-65 = 9.5
MS-64 = 9.4
MS-63 = 9.3
MS-62 = 9.2
MS-61 = 9.1
MS-60 = 9
AU-58 = 8.75
AU-55 = 8.5
AU-53 = 8.25
AU-50 = 8
XF-45 = 7.5
XF-40 = 7

Kaiser Wilhelm

Now I need my brain mapped as that sequence has given me a migraine.


But you’re still with us, that’s important.

Kaiser Wilhelm

That is truly kind of you, and to be here is a great happiness.

Dazed and Coinfused

For purposes of history, I’d want the Lincoln cent with the grade that matches the caliber of bullet booth used. Or an error that has a punch through on his head. What? Too soon? Same for a Kennedy.

Kaiser Wilhelm

“Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the show?”

Dazed and Coinfused

Oh drat Mrs Lincoln, it seems this show has literally blown your husband’s mind to the point, Mr Booth is exiting stage left and has pulled an Elvis and left the building. Unfortunately he left before he could sign my copy of the playbill. The Missus will be heartbroken. A stroke of genius.
Do you by chance have a pen? I’ll scribble it myself, and hope she never has it graded by NGC.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Since dinner theater is such a big thing in Florida, perhaps the play “Our American Cousin” can also be brought to Mar a Lago.


Thank you for this break down. Now everything less than an XF-40 is helpful for the older, worn, coins.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Especially those from before Coolidge.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Could be a Schrodinger’s Cent…the VDB is only there as long as you don’t look for it.


I have one of those! It’s a 1909-S but I don’t see VDB. Must be!

Kaiser Wilhelm

Sounds to me like a case of extra-cerebral mirroring of vestigial unreality.


Talk about an error!

Kaiser Wilhelm

Oh yes sir, that is what one might call an error after the fact. Yikes!

Dazed and Coinfused

If it’s anything like schrodingers cat, put it in a box and it can be any coin or grade you want. Just make sure if you sell it claiming it’s a 10, to ensure all sales final, no returns, sold as is

Kaiser Wilhelm

And above all, never opened!

Bob Silver

I found a plastic Lincoln Cent last month clearing a wooded lot. I thought I found the Motherload of a US Mint trial. After further research, it was from a Currency X-Change kit for kids. 98% plastic with 2% dirt!

Kaiser Wilhelm

Or more fantastically, samples of coinage from the distant future left by a time traveler.


I have yet to come across any U.S. polymer currency. I may yet live to see the day.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Perhaps the Paper Lobby is emulating the Zinc Lobby in striving to keep our tattered dollar bills in production much as our useless cents.


I have one of those as well, without the dirt.

Kaiser Wilhelm

As it has been said, cleanliness is next to godliness, so your coin is blessed. 🙂