Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial US One-Cent Coin (Penny) 2009

2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Program


On February 12, 2009, in recognition of the bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln's birth and the 100th anniversary of the first issuance of the Lincoln cent, the US Mint presented the newly redesigned one-cent coin (penny) at the National Park Service's Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

The new one-cent reverse designs were issued at approximately three-month intervals throughout 2009. In addition, the mint produced numismatic one-cent coins with the exact metallic content as contained in the 1909 one-cent coin (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc).

Like it had been for past 50 years, the obverse continues to bear the likeness of President Lincoln currently on the penny. The reverse reflects four different designs, each one representing a different aspect, or theme, of President Lincoln's life. The following images depict four designs of Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial small cent:


Design 1: Abraham Lincoln's birth and early childhood in Kentucky (1809-1816)

BRIEF HISTORICAL FACTS: Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin near Nolin Creek, three miles south of present-day Hodgenville in Hardin (now Larue) County, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809, the second child of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. He was named after his paternal grandfather. The Lincoln family lived on 30 acres of the 228-acre Knob Creek Farm near Hodgenville from the time Abraham was two-and-a-half until he was nearly eight years old.

The reverse design features a log cabin that represents his humble beginnings in Kentucky.

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Small Cent (Penny) 2009 - Kentucky

Designer: The designer of this coin was US Mint AIP Master Designer Richard Masters. US Mint sculptor-engraver Jim Licaretz sculpted the coin following the Masters' design.


Design 2: Abraham Lincoln's Formative Years in Indiana (1816-1830)

BRIEF HISTORICAL FACTS: In the fall of 1816, Thomas and Nancy Lincoln left Kentucky for southern Indiana, settling in Spencer County. As he grew older, young Abraham became skilled at using a plow and, especially, an axe. Although the demands of frontier life left little time for formal schooling, his parents instilled in him a love for books and Abraham educated himself by reading such works as Life of Washington, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Robinson Crusoe and The Arabian Nights - all by the age of 11. He could often be seen carrying a book along with his axe.

The reverse design depicts a young Lincoln reading while taking a break from working as a rail splitter in Indiana.

2009 Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Small Cent (Penny) - Indiana

Designer: US Mint sculptor-engraver Charles Vickers


Design 3: Abraham Lincoln's Professional Life in Illinois (1830-1861)

BRIEF HISTORICAL FACTS: In 1830, Thomas decided to move the family to Illinois, where he had relatives and where the soil was rich and productive. Early on, Abraham took a variety of jobs, including piloting a steamboat, but he was beginning to develop a serious interest in politics. In 1834, he was elected to the Illinois General Assembly, and began studying the law in earnest. In September 1836, he received a law license and embarked on the career that would propel him to the White House. In 1846 he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives as a member of the Whig Party.

The reverse design depicts Abraham Lincoln as a young professional standing in front of the state capitol building in Springfield.

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Small Cent (Penny) 2009 - Illinois

Designers: US Mint AIP Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart


Design 4: Abraham Lincoln's Presidency in Washington, D.C. (1861-1865)

BRIEF HISTORICAL FACTS: At the 1860 Republican convention, Lincoln secured the nomination for President and was elected that fall. When Lincoln took office on March 4, 1861, the Nation was already on the verge of civil war, and fighting soon broke out at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Shortly after the Battle of Antietam, in late 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel territory free as of January 1, 1863. The Union victory at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863, marked a crucial turning point in the war in favor of the North.

The war ended with General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Five days later, on April 14, President Lincoln was mortally wounded by an assassin, John Wilkes Booth, while watching a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington. Army physicians worked to save his life throughout the night, but he never regained consciousness and died at 7:22 a.m. the next morning at the age of 56.

The reverse design features the half-finished United States Capitol dome, symbolizing a Nation torn apart by civil war and the resolve Lincoln showed as he guided the country through its most grave crisis.

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Small Cent (Penny) 2009 - Washington, D.C.

Designers: US Mint AIP Master Designer Susan Gamble and US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna

Coin Specifics:

Diameter: 0.750 in., 19.05 mm
Thickness: 1.55 mm
Weight: 2.5 grams
Edge: Plain
Composition: Core is 99.2% zinc, 0.8% copper, with a plating of pure copper; Total content is 97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper.
Mints: Philadelphia, Denver (mint mark D) and San Francisco (mint mark S)
Designer of Obverse: Victor D. Brenner

(Sources: www.usmint.gov)

Off the News Stand:

December 14, 2006

Because the prices of metals has gone up, the copper and zinc in modern 1-cent coin are worth 1.12 cents. So if 100 pennies are melted down, one can get a profit of 12 cents - and that has the government worried. U.S. Mint officials put into place rules prohibiting the melting down of 1-cent and 5-cent coins. The rules also limit the number of coins that can be shipped out of the country. "We are taking this action because the nation needs its coinage for commerce. We do not want to see our pennies and nickels melted down so a few individuals can take advantage of the American taxpayer," Mint Director Edmund Moy said in a statement. The new regulations prohibit the melting of 1-cent and 5-cent coins, with a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for people convicted of violating the rule.

Lincoln Pennies and NickelBecause of the prevailing prices of copper, zinc and nickel, the cost of producing pennies and nickels exceeds the face value of the coins. A nickel is 25 percent nickel and 75 percent copper. The metal in one coin costs 6.99 cents for each 5-cent coin. When the Mint's cost of producing the coins is added, the total cost for each nickel is 8.34 cents. Modern pennies have 2.5 percent copper content with zinc making up the rest of the coin. The current copper and zinc in a penny are worth 1.12 cents. The cost of production drives the cost of each penny up to 1.73 cents.

Pennies made before 1982, which are still in circulation, would be even more lucrative to melt down because they contain 95 percent copper and only 5 percent zinc. The metal value in those coins is 2.13 cents per coin, Mint officials said. The new regulations are being published in the Federal Register and will go into effect as interim rules which will not become final until the government has a chance to consider possible modifications based on public comments.



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(Source: Martin Crutsinger, AP; Encyclopedia Of U.S. Coins by Mort Reed and The Official Red Book of United States Coins by R.S. Yeoman.)