Lincoln Cents


A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents

1929 Lincoln Wheat Ears Reverse Cent

1909-S VDB Lincoln Wheat Ears Reverse Cent

Lincoln Memorial Reverse Cent

Victor D. Brenner designed the Lincoln Wheat Ears, Reverse cent, which was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. The designer's initials (V.D.B.) appear on the reverse of a limited quantity of cents of 1909. The initials were restored, in 1918, to the obverse side on Lincoln's shoulder. The Lincoln type was the first cent to have the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.

Matte Proof coins were made for collectors from 1909 through 1916, and an exceptional specimen dated 1917 is also reported to exist.

Owing to a shortage of copper during the critical war year 1943, the Treasury Department resorted to the use of zinc-coated steel for cents. No bronze cents were officially issued in 1943. A few specimens struck on bronze or silver planchets by error are known to exist. Through a similar error, a few 1944 cents were struck on steel planchets.

The popular 1955 doubled-die error coins were made from improperly prepared dies that show a fully doubled outline of the date and legend. Do not confuse these with less valuable pieces showing only minor traces doubling. Counterfeits exist.

Frank Gasparro designed the Lincoln Memorial reverse, which was introduced in 1959 on the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

In 1969, the dies were modified to strengthen the design, and Lincoln's head was made slightly smaller. In 1973, dies were further modified and the engraver's initials FG made larger. The initials were reduced slightly in 1974. During 1982 the dies were again modified and the bust, lettering, and date made slightly smaller. One variety of the 1984 cent shows Lincoln's ear doubled. Some 1,579,324 cents dated 1974 were struck in aluminum as experimental pieces. None were place in circulation, and most were later destroyed. One was preserved for the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution. Other 1974 experimental cents were struck in bronze-clad steel.

One-cent Lincoln, Bicentennial coins issued during 2009 are a unique tribute to President Abraham Lincoln, recognizing the bicentennial of his birth and the 100th anniversary of the first issuance of the Lincoln cent. These coins use four different design themes on the reverse to represent the four major aspects of President Lincoln's life. The obverse of each of these coins carries the traditional portrait of Lincoln that has been in use since 1909.

The special reverse designs, released as quarterly issues throughout 2009, are described as: Birth and Early Childhood in Kentucky (designer, Richard Masters; sculptor, Jim Licaretz); Formative Years in Indiana (designer and sculptor, Charles Vickers); Professional Life in Illinois (designer, Joel Iskowitz; sculptor, Don Everhart); and Presidency in Washington (designer, Susan Gamble; sculptor, Joseph Menna). Those issued for commercial circulation are made of the exact same copper-plated composition used since 1982. Special versions included in collector sets are made of the same metallic composition as was used for the original 1909 cents (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc).

Since the conclusion of the 2009 Bicentennial One-Cent Program, one-cent Lincoln, Shield Reverse coins feature a reverse that has an image emblematic of President Lincoln's preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country.

For more information about this coin, see Lincoln cent at Wikipedia.

If you collect Lincoln cents, we highly recommend this book for your personal library: A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents, by Q. David Bowers.

RSS Feed Widget

Lincoln Cents at
Lincoln Cents at