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*** Please take note ***

12/14/2007 - The Cent Project is well under way, and data is coming in. One thing going noticed by many of the volunteers is the lack of updating on the website. This is because I am moving a thousand miles away from home the week after the New Year, and have been preparing for the move.

This does NOT change the outcome of the project. I will still have the data in and ready to compile by the end of January, and will have the output ready before the first of March.

There are TWO things that DO change...

1. ANYONE can volunteer WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT. You may sort and count if you wish, without needing to contact me first. We are undermanned in this project, so NOBODY WILL BE REJECTED. Go ahead and get started!!

2. Turning in data: Because I am moving and will not be around my email very much, PLEASE hold your results until the 15th of January, and if you don't have them finished by then, that's fine...you can turn them in until the end of January.

*** Notice to Volunteers ***

10/12/2007 - It's official!! Time to get started on the count! If you get finished early and want to volunteer for a second group, just send an email and I will add you to the list...cd@thecentproject.com. We ARE still accepting NEW VOLUNTEERS! Just use the same emaila ddress and let me know what state you live in and what geographical region of that state you live in. I will get you added to the list as soon as I can!

Also remember to use the tools I have provided here to help you sort the years that have small and large dates, and remember the 'drop test' for sorting the metals in 1982 cents.

Have fun!!


You have found "the Cent Project," an all-volunteer project coordinated to find out what we have in our change. This project is directed by Lincoln cent specialist Charles D. Daughtrey. You may contact Charles to volunteer or with any questions you may have about this site or the project itself at cd@thecentproject.com.

Purpose of thecentproject.com

The purpose of this site is to report news and events of this project to the volunteers, to update volunteers on how the project is progressing (while it is still open), to educate the volunteers in how to sort their sample and detect the difference between large and small date cents (where applicable), and to permanently publish the results of this study for all to see. This site is brand new as of 09/30/2007, so bear with me as I build and update it to meet the needs and expectations of all involved.

The project described:

To sort as many Lincoln cents as possible by date, mint, and date size and combine results on a nationwide scale. This project will have a central data gathering hub (me) that collects the data, compiles the data, and makes the results of that collection available to whomever is interested in using it without proprietorship. I want the data and the results to be public domain.

The purpose/objective of the project:

For years now we have known that there are two different date sizes for a number of different issues of cents, but because the Mint did not keep mintage figures by date size, we have always published "incl. above" as the mintage for each different variety. For years now we have known that cents minted during the first few years of the zinc planchets were of poor quality and have 'probably' suffered greatly in numbers due to corrosion, other environmental factors, and basic attrition. The purpose of this experiment is to find approximate mintages for the different date sizes of cents and to measure whether any of the early zinc issues have suffered enough to become considered 'scarce' in circulation. It would also help determine how changing to zinc has affected the life expectancy of the cent, and might prove that even though copper-based cents are much more expensive to make, the difference in life expectancy would make copper-based cents more cost worthy financially than zinc cents. This could be used as supporting evidence to convince the Mint to change back to a copper based planchet after 2009 if they indeed intend to even continue the cent. Of course it could also prove their decision to change to zinc to be the correct decision.

Requirements of volunteers:

Each volunteer will be given the information necessary to accurately sort $50 in face value (5,000 coins) of cents obtained from their local banks. The coins need only be in their posession long enough to complete their sorting and data gathering, then they could re-deposit the coins back into the bank. If by any chance or reason the volunteer was unable to separate any of the varieties by date size or metal content (1982), they could ship that part of their batch to me or another one of the coordinators for accurate separation and data gathering.


I will be asking the assistance of a few educated specialists in the series to help coordinate this project and assist volunteers with questions regarding their experience with what they are finding in their batches.

Data control:

It is a fact that with more participation in any data collecting experiment the more data that is collected, the more accurate the results. This is why it is important that this project receive all the nationwide attention it can. The more people volunteer to help with the project, the more accurate the results will be. Control is set up in the following manner:
  1. State by state representation of samples sorted using the electoral college delegate numbers as a key. This ensures an even distribution of samples by state by population.
  2. That all samples come from a like source. I will instruct all volunteers to purchase their samples to count directly from bank tellers. This alleviates the possibility that someone might grab a sample that has been sitting in a closet for twenty years and skew the results.
  3. That the same education be provided in how to efficiently sort the coins and how to recognize the differences by variety requested be separated in the data. This information would be published on the web in one specific location and every volunteer would be given access to this information. For those without internet access, the information would be printed and mailed to them.
  4. That every volunteer be provided a form to use in recording their data. The form would be available electronically for those who could receive such media, and for others it would be printed and shipped to them with the educational tools mentioned in #3 above.

Project Timeline:

The timeline for a project of this magnitude will be determined in large part by how many volunteers we can get and how quickly we get those volunteers. Optimally, we would like to have enough volunteers to make the project worthwhile by the end of October, 2007, and would like for all of the volunteers to be finished gathering and reporting their data by the end of the year (Dec. 31, 2007). This time line may have to be adjusted while we wait for additional volunteers to come forward.

Information Dissemination:

Once the data is gathered, combined, and examined, I would like to publish the results and give all specialists a chance to comment on the results; then publish the results with all comments in as many publications as possible. Given an approximate number of cents believed to be in circulation and the exact mintage figures published by the authorities, the data will be combined to represent both a percentage of actual mintage left in circulation and a percentage of all circulating cents. The results of the combined data will be calculated using simple formulae to derive relatively accurate results regarding attrition, surviving examples, and possible original mintage figures that were never recorded.

© Copyright 2007, Charles D. Daughtrey - all rights reserved. Any information contained in this website is reproducable without prior consent with the sole restriction that its author, Charles D. Daughtrey be credited for the information used.