Roy Cahoon, Assistant U.S. Mint DirectorRoy Cahoon, Assistant Director, U.S. Mint

On July 14, 1972, Roy Cahoon attended the gala dinner celebrating the historic reopening of the San Francisco Mint and signed the holder containing the Lincoln Mystery Cent.

It was with the best of intentions that Roy Cahoon and Mary Brooks (Director of the Mint) were shown the Lincoln Mystery Cent by Everett Phillips at the celebration reopening of the San Francisco Mint. After viewing the Cent, they both enthusiastically offered to sign the famous Coin’s 2” x 2” cardboard holder.

Once news of this got out, Brooks and Cahoon were bombarded with cries of protest from powerful people in the hobby such as Margo Russell. Brooks then made an unprecedented personal phone call to Wilkins requesting the coin holder be returned to her. (Wilkins did not communicate directly with Cahoon.) Wilkins agreed to send her the “controversial” coin holder in exchange for a photo of Brooks autographed by herself and Cahoon. After receiving the signed photograph, Wilkins mailed the prized holder to Brooks.

However, Wilkins had hired a professional photographer take a picture of both sides of the holder thereby preserving proof of Brooks’ and Cahoon’s autographs on it.

CLICK HERE to see Cahoon’s autograph on the coin holder in the Mystery Cent Museum.

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