Coins > Lincoln Cents (PR)

Proof Strikes of the Lincoln Cent were first struck in the Matte Proof style in the Summer of 1909.  Popular today amongst a niche of collectors, Matte Proof Lincolns (minted only from 1909-1916) often display striking color resulting from the sulfur-laden tissue paper in which the coins were initially wrapped by the Mint before mailing.  Only a few thousand Matte Proofs (on average) were minted each year.  The coins had an unusual granular, dimpled appearance (almost frosted at times) from the Mint’s Matte Proof sandblasting techniques.  One notable characteristic of Matte Proof Lincolns are their wide, flat, and razor sharp rims, which acts like a perfect frame.  During this period, collectors did not embrace the matte appearance, and sales of the coins remained very low throughout the eight year run.  The last Matte Proof Lincolns were minted in 1916.

My Proof (PR) Lincoln Cent PCGS Registry Sets

Set #1

Name: Complete Proof Lincoln (1909-present) “Fireball Rainbow” Set
Rank: Rank #10 (2018)   Registry Link
Awards: None

Set #2

Name: Mirror Proof Lincoln (1936-present) “Fireball Rainbow” Set
Rank: Rank #2 (2018)   Registry Link
Awards: Best New Set Award
                 Number One Ranked Set Award 

High-Res Proof Coinboard ImagesProof Coinboard #1 (1909-1989)  /  Proof Coinboard #2 (1990-2015)

My Complete Proof Strike Lincoln (1909-present) Registry Set displayed on Proof Coinboards #1 and #2

Set Background

It’s noteworthy that my Set of Proof-Strike Lincoln Cents is missing only the rare 1909 VDB Matte Proof Lincoln, of which less than 200 are known to exist.  I first began to appreciate colorfully-toned Proof Lincolns in 2011 when I began seeing a few coins posted in Coin Forums by well known collectors such as Robec, Lehigh, Illini, and others.  After seeing such gorgeous examples in other collections, I began to wonder if it was possible to find a colorful Proof Lincoln for every year over the past 110 years that PCGS would grade as Naturally Toned.

Ultimately, I didn’t care if the color class assigned by PCGS was red (RD), red-brown (RB), or brown (BN), as long as there was some color variation on the coin and it was not a solid-uniform coppery-red.  That being said, my primary focus was in those coins that PCGS assigned a color class of either brown (BN) or red-brown (RB), since those two color classes tend to display the most non-standard color.  However, I have found some red (RD) coins that display some really beautiful and varied color patterns.  Finaly, only in the very latest years was I not able to meet my objective, for those slots I was forced by acquire a non-toned proof coin to complete my set.

Some of these Naturally Toned Lincoln Cents are just stunningly beautiful and each one is a unique result of natures artistic hand.  I hope you enjoy the show! The coinboards I custom designed in Adobe Photoshop using antique vintage coinboards, popularized in the 1930’s, as inspiration.

Many of the coins have very high “Flash Index” scores.  The Flash Index is a carefully devised system that attempts to quantify the eye-appeal of colorfully toned coins using ten criteria. Flash Index scores range from 0.0 to 10.0. Scores between 9.0 and 10.0 denote monster gold-class toning. Scores between 8.0 and 8.9 denote eye-appealing silver-class toning. Finally, scores between 7.0 and 7.9 denote marginal bronze-class toning.  At scores below 7.0, toning is not considered worthy of a premium.

I hope you take note of  a few of my most-prized monster-toned Proof Lincolns including the 1909, 1914, 1951, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1964, & 2007-S — all of which achieved gold-class Flash Index scores above 9.0.