The Penny Gets a Facelift for 2009

Come 2009, the US Penny will have a new look. The US Mint will actually reveal four designs of the penny to honor the 200th birth year of President Abraham Lincoln. This will be the first redesign of the penny in the last half century.

The obverse side of the penny will still have the Victor David Brenner’s likeness of President Lincoln first used in 1909. The IN GOD WE TRUST motto will still be inscribed on the coin. At the end of 2009, the US Mint will release the coin with a design on its reverse featuring Lincoln’s effort to keep the US as a single, united country.

The four designs of the reverse of the coin will highlight four major aspects in the life of President Lincoln:

  • Lincoln’s birth and childhood in Kentucky
  • Growing up years in Indiana
  • Professional life in Illinois
  • Lincoln’s Presidency

The tail side of the coin will also have the inscriptions United States of America, E Pluribus Unum, and One Cent.

The first design will portrait a log cabin where the past president was born in Kentucky in 1809. The second will feature an adventurous Lincoln working as railroad worker in Indiana reading a book during a break. The third will feature Lincoln as a young lawyer by the state capitol of Springfield, Illinois. The last series immortalizes the construction of the dome of the Capitol as ordered by Lincoln during the Civil War.

The first release of the coin will be on February 12, 2009 on Lincoln’s bicentennial. The next series will follow after every 3 months.

The 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coins was authorized by Public Law 109-145. The US Mint aims to duplicate the success of the 50 State Quarter Program which marked its place in US history as the most popular coin collecting program.

Similar programs were also implemented by the US Mint to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by changing the design of the nickel. New dollar designs are also released every year to renew the interest of the people in the US $1 bill.

The US penny is primarily made of copper plated zinc. The value of copper has seen its share of increases the past decades that is why a law has been enacted to prevent melting of the pennies and selling of the precious metal in the market.

Coin collectors are awaiting the release of the new Lincoln penny which will definitely find its place in history. The US mint will also be releasing a Lincoln commemorative silver dollar in 2009.

The US Cent has seen several redesigns since its first production in 1793. The first set of coins was known as Large Cents which circulated from 1793 to 1857. The Large Cents consist of the following: Flowing Hair Chain, Flowing Hair Wreath, Liberty Cap, Draped Bust, Classic Head, Coronet, and Braided Hair. The redesigns of these coins primarily evolved around the appearance of the bust of the Liberty.

The Small Cent was first minted from 1856 and is still the same form used today. It evolved from being a Flying Eagle, Indian head, Lincoln, and Lincoln memorial which debuted 1959.