The Lincoln Cent was introduced in 1909 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth. As the longest running US coin series and the current lowest denomination, the series has been a long time favorite of collectors.
Victor David Brenner was the designer of the original Lincoln Cent. The obverse of the coin features a bust of President Lincoln facing to the right. This design has been in continuous use from 1909 through the current date, making it the longest running design used for any circulating US coin design.
The reverse design of the Lincoln Cent initially featured a pair of wheat stalks design by Brenner. The coins of this time period are commonly referred to as Wheat Cents. This design remained in use for the first 50 years of the series. In 1959, the design was changed to a view of the Lincoln Memorial designed by Frank Gasparro. The Lincoln Memorial Cent was issued until 2008 before the next design changes would take place.
For the 2009 Lincoln Cents, four different reverse designs were issued to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. Each design portrayed a different stage of Abraham Lincoln’s life from his humble beginnings in Kentucky to his Presidency in Washington, DC. Starting in 2010, another new reverse design was introduced featuring the Union Shield. The design is intended to be emblematic of Lincoln’s preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country. The Union Shield Cent design will remain in use for the foreseeable future.
This site will provide you with an overview and history of Lincoln Cents, including the different reverse designs, key date coins and rarities, compositional changes of the coins over the years, and mintages for all coins of the series. The site can serve as a useful guide to one of the most popular United States coin series.