In celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday bicentennial in 2009, the United States Mint issued four new versions of the penny, to be released on a rotating basis. More information about the Lincoln Bicentennial is available here.
2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One-Cent Program Fact Sheet
Program: In 2009, the United States Mint minted and issued four different one-cent coins in recognition of the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the production of the Lincoln cent.
Obverse Design: The obverse (heads) continues to bear the familiar bust of President Lincoln currently on the one-cent coin designed by Victor D. Brenner, with the inscriptions “In God We Trust,” Liberty” and the year of minting, or issuance.
Reverse Designs: The reverse (tails) reflect four unique designs, each representing a different period, or theme, of the life of President Lincoln as outlined in Title III of Public Law 109-145, the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005. The designs for the coins were approved by the Secretary of the Treasury after consultation with the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts, and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
- Birth and early childhood in Kentucky (1809-1816) — features a log cabin designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz.
- Formative years in Indiana (1816-1830) — depicts a young Lincoln reading while taking a break from working as a rail splitter in Indiana. Designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles Vickers.
- Professional life in Illinois (1830-1861) — depicts Lincoln as a young professional standing in front of the old state capitol building in Springfield. Designed by United States Mint AIP Master Designer Joel Iskowilz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.
- Presidency in Washington, DC (1861-1865) — 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 worst crisis. Designed by United States Mint AIP Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by United States Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.
Reverse Inscriptions: Each reverse design has the inscriptions, “United States of America,” “E Pluribus Unum” and “One Cent.” The first coin (log cabin) also has the inscription “1809.”
Issuance: The new one-cent reverse designs were issued at approximately three-month intervals throughout 2009.
Specifications: The four new circulating 2009 Abraham Lincoln one-cent coins maintain the same specifications as the current one-cent coin:
Composition: Copper-Plated Zinc (2.5% Copper, balance Zinc)
Weight: 2.500 grams
Diameter: 0.750 in., 19.05 mm
Thickness: 1.55 mm
Numismatic Lincoln Bicentennial One-Cent Coins: The United States Mint also minted and issued numismatic 2009 one-cent coins with the exact metallic content as contained in the 1909 one-cent coin (95% Copper, 5% Tin and Zinc). These numismatic versions were included in the United States Mint’s annual product offerings.