Stages of Coinlightenment

I hear you asking, “What are the stages of Coinlightenment?”, but shouldn’t you first be asking, “What the hell is Coinlightenment, anyway???”, or “How the hell do I use Coinlightenment?”, or “Why should I bother to mess with Coinlightenment???”.

I’ll answer your third question first. There’s money in them-thar hills, is why.

Coin Knowledge means cash in the pocket and a feather in the cap. You’ve found something, discovered something, uncovered a treasure in a penny.

Let’s take a look at your “Pilgrim’s Progress” toward Coinlightenment:

  • IT’S JUST A PENNY — This is the first dawning of an awakening consciousness. There is a realization that a penny is present, and that it is a penny, although at this stage, it’s JUST a penny, meaning that it is insignificant and generally unworthy of special notice.
  • IT’S A LINCOLN PENNY — In the Second Stage of Coinlightenment, one becomes dimly aware that there is an entire run or set or collection or something, related to pennies that look similar to this one.
  • IT’S A LINCOLN CENT — Now in the Third Stage, the consciousness is becoming aware of the fact that this is a particular issue of a particular type of currency.
  • IT’S A CIRCULATED LINCOLN CENT — In the Fourth Stage of Coinlightenment, the awareness of many different possible states and applications of a U.S. coin becomes somewhat present, along with a general concept of how U.S. copper coins are manufactured.
  • IT’S A CIRCULATED LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — In this Fifth Stage of Coinlightenment, one becomes aware of the special set of Lincoln cents that were made from 1909 until 1958, when the reverse design was changed from the double wheats to the memorial building. It is presently a shield, but this is soon to change once again.
  • IT’S A TEEN DECADE LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — Now the dawning of true Coinsciousness is breaking upon your shining intellect — you are acutely aware that Lincoln cents can be sorted into decades, and that each decade has its own unique characteristics and expectations, such as distribution patterns, with the first year, fifth year, sixth year, seventh year, eighth year and ninth year being dominant in numbers, with the second, third and sometimes fourth year being on the scarce or downright rare side.
  • IT’S A 1912 LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — At last, you’ve taken the time and spent the energy to look more closely at the coin, now taking note of the date, but is there more?
  • IT’S A 1912-S LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — Aha! Now you see that it is not merely a common Lincoln cent, but a mint-marked coin, notably from the San Francisco Mint, noted for their continual screwups, resulting in many wondrous error coins, so many of them that you might wonder how they got past the guards at the gates, and most of them didn’t.
  • IT’S A HIGH-GRADE 1912-S LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — Okay, you can SEE that there’s grade here, but how much grade, exactly?
  • IT’S AN MS-65 RD 1912-S LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — Congratulations, you’re almost home! Keep struggling! Peer more keenly! Penetrate the Mystery!
  • IT’S AN MS-66 RD 1912-S LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT WORTH ABOUT $13,000! — Now you’re just one step from the Ultimate Realization:
  • WOW! IT’S AN MS-66 RD 1912-S LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT, POP 1, I’M KEEPING THIS!!! — You have finally gone completely over the top. You’re fully initiated and ready to handle the Bardos like a pro, and you are now doomed to be a hopeless Lincoln Set collector with no hope of recovery!

That’s right. From here, there is no return.

Send for my FREE complete coin-store startup kit, worth over $1,000,990.18!!! I’m kidding, of course, but if you want to set up your very own coin shop or kiosk or table or street peddler, I’m game to help you get started.

Frankly, I’d go for the street peddler. A license should cost you anywhere from $25 in Grass Valley or Sacramento or Reno, to maybe $200 in the big cities, but even in the Big Apple, it’s quite possible to get an AFFORDABLE street peddler’s license.

These days, however, with all sorts of things happening, I’m not so sure that street peddlers will have much of a future, at least the licensed ones. There are always people hustling on the streets, always, and YOU can be one of them!


You might prefer the gentle and passionate game of storefront. These days, it’s not going to be enough to be online only. You’ll need a combination of brick-and-mortar and online presence, and I will bet dollars to donuts that the Big Business Guys are thinking this way right now, too — watch them set up brick-and-mortar where they’ve had none for generations.

You can set up an entire store or shop, or set up a kiosk with permissions, of course, or set up a table, counter or countertop display of your coins at a local shop that will allow you to have a permanent trunk-show in their store, and they’re willing to collect the money for you. Make sure to tell them they are NOT responsible for anything shoplifted — you have to realize that “boosting” is a part of retail that you have to fold into the cost, about 30% per year in losses from customers and clerks, and you’ll NEVER get that number down any lower, not ever — I have incontrovertible evidence to demonstrate this.

You can set up a fair booth. You don’t need much space for this, but a full booth, usually measuring 10 by 10 feet, is plenty and more than plenty for a coin shop.

What you can do is, set up the “flats”, which are fold-out carryalls that can show hundreds of coins behind glass, and are very very easy to carry and haul around, even in a very small car or public transport. Ask me how to get this done — I have all the angles and probably most of the equipment you need already in stock and at hand ready to ship.

Those carryall hard-cases are great, and very, very inexpensive. Also, they’re cheap and they don’t cost much. Did I mention the money?

You would probably be surprised at how MUCH you can spend setting up a coin shop. Just the flips, the tubes, the folders, the sheets and the research books can set you back a thousand bucks, and you haven’t even gotten the coins in, yet!

I can help you set up a full coin shop for under that, but you’ll have to be very clever and very very willing to put in a lot of hours and mental sweat getting your product on the shelf, because YOU are going to have to find every single coin you sell, and the only way to do that is to search, search, search, and if you can’t afford wheaties, you’ll have to search the memorials and shields and look for errors, such as the famous 1969-D polished reverse initials error, which can yield you $10 bucks in MS-65 and a LOT more in MS-66!

No matter what your budget or your time considerations, a Coinology Shop is easily within reach.

Of course, it goes without saying that you have to actually extend your arm out.

I have thousands of coins ready to sell, all available at lower-than-wholesale prices, because they’re all self-found — that will change and you mustn’t count on it, but at the moment, I’m able to generate a lot of good stock.

You can buy whole rolls of coins ready to flip and describe and price and sell, or you can ask me to find, package and describe and price-tag a bunch of stuff that you can easily display and sell in your hometown.

Either way works for me.

I have rolls of weird TEEN coins from 1910 to 1919 at $50 a roll of 50 coins, which comes to a dollar a coin. They can easily be sold at anywhere from $3 to $10, and some can be sold for as much as $20, and I’ve done it. Your roll will be random selected from a huge pile of “Oddball TEENS” Lincoln Cents. When I say “Oddball”, I mean it. Anybody want a peanut?

I’ve also put aside a few rolls of high-grade pennies — about a thousand of them — all at about EF-40 up to MS-60 BN, and all of them quite saleable and attractive, dating from 1909 all the way to 1958.

I can assemble entire collections of LOOSE coins that can be plugged into an album or folder by your customer or by yourself.

I’ve also got a number of smaller “incremental” kits of coins in the various decades, ie; “TEEN”, “TWENTIES”, “THIRTIES”, “FORTIES” and “FIFTIES”.

In the TEEN pack, you get all the COMMONS, which are the non-mint-marked and non-key or semi-key coins in the series, so you get 1910, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 & 19.

In the TWENTIES pack, you get the COMMON coins, 1920, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 & 29. You’ll note that you do NOT get either the 1922-D or the 1922 no-D, both of which can cost dearly, the no-D more than the D in this case.

In the THIRTIES pack, you get the COMMONS, 1930, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 & 1939. You do NOT get the 1931, 1932 or 1933. Those will cost you more, but not too badly, until you get to the mint-marks.

The FORTIES and FIFTIES packs contain all the COMMON dates, those without mint-marks.

Each of those packs costs between $5 and $40, depending on which decade and how exalted the coin, meaning that you can buy these packs in different grades, “G-4” or “VF-EF”, which generally means that the coin is more toward EF-40 or better, although there are a few exceptions.

You can get a “COIN DEALER STARTER PACK” of all sorts of easily saleable coins, starting at a very small figure — I’m not sure what, but this would be something I could order on your behalf, from my wholesale dealers. I’m not going to guess the price, but they want you to succeed, so you’ll keep buying from them, so you know they guess pretty good on the odds that you’ll sell them.

More than that?

Sure. I’m currently putting together the most spectacular Lincoln Cent Complete Set INCLUDING the 1909-s and 1909s-VDB and the other Key Coins, all contained inside a Premium Card.

I’ll be making the frame myself from museum chop. The price of this dramatic and spectacular wall-piece will be $9,500 and it will be worth every single penny — get it? Penny!!! Haw, haw, haw, sometimes I just crack myself up.

Okay, I’m now very late for breakfast. Outta here now.

See You At The Top!!!