As the last of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial penny was released, the US Mint also revealed the reverse design for the 2010 Lincoln penny. These designs will have brought a fresh face to US coinage and kindled much interest among collectors.
The 2009 Lincoln Series
Designed to commemorate the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth, this series represents the first time that the design of the US penny has changed in fifty years. For the Lincoln Bicentennial Series, the US Mint released four separate coins this year. Each coin evokes a different phase in Lincoln’s life:
- The first coin, released in Lincoln’s birthplace of Hodgenville, Kentucky, honors the president’s early years in rural Kentucky. This coin’s reverse features an iconic log cabin.
- Introduced in Lincoln City, Indiana, the second coin in the series honors Lincoln’s adolescence and early adulthood with an image of a young Lincoln perched upon a fallen log, reading intently.
- In recognition of Lincoln’s law career, the third coin in the Lincoln Bicentennial Series features Lincoln standing before the Illinois state capitol building. The coin was released in Springfield, Illinois.
- The final coin of the series commemorates Lincoln’s presidency. On its reverse, the unfinished Capital building, symbolizing Lincoln’s efforts to rebuild a complete nation despite the Civil War.
While large quantities of the coins were released into circulation, they are still relatively scarce. To obtain these coins, many collectors have turned to the US Mint, which is offering two-roll sets of Lincoln pennies. Lincoln cents from rolls that have been cancelled by the US Postal Service still have relatively reasonable premiums, offering collectors a great opportunity.
A New Design for 2010
The 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Series sought to capture the life and contributions of one of America’s most revered presidents. Meanwhile, the 2010 penny was designed as a long-term update to American coinage. Previous to the release of the 2009 Bicentennial Series, the design of the penny had remained the same since 1959, when the image of the Lincoln Memorial replaced wheat on the coin’s reverse.
The theme of the new design is Lincoln’s dedication to maintaining a unified country in the face of tremendous conflict. On its reverse, the 2010 Lincoln cent depicts a shield with the motto “E Pluribus Unum” and a banner that reads “One Cent.” The shield symbol has been used since the Civil War, and it appears in the US Capitol Building several times. The 2010 Lincoln cent will still bear the classic profile of Abraham Lincoln on its obverse.
Like the Presidential $1 and State Quarters programs, the 2010 Lincoln Penny is part of a Congressional push to beautify the country’s currency. Part of Public Law 109-145, the coin will continue to be minted and put into circulation until another act of Congress repeals or amends the law.
The latest Lincoln cents are sure to appeal to collectors of all ages and experience levels. Their historic interest and beautifully executed design make them a welcome addition to US currency.
This information is provided for general reference purposes and does not constitute professional advice. For detailed coin collecting or investing information, please consult with a professional expert.