The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 included provisions for re-
designing the reverse of the Lincoln Cent during 2009. The year 2009
marked the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth on
February 12th, 1809. It is also the 100th anniversary of the cent
itself. The act stated, "The reverse of the coins shall bear 4 different
designs each representing a different aspect of the life of Abraham
Lincoln." These four stages were his birth and early childhood in
Kentucky, his formative years in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois,
and his presidency, in Washington, D.C. Business strike cents would
has been used since 1982. In addition to the business strikes, the act
called for the minting of "1-cent coins...with the exact metallic content
as the 1-cent coin contained in 1909 in such number as the Secretary
determines to be appropriate for numismatic purposes". All proof
2009 Lincoln Cents were minted in 95% copper, 5% tin and zinc. Also,
all Lincoln Cents found in the 2009 Satin Mint Sets were minted in 95%
copper, 5% tin and zinc.
The following is directly from the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005:
TITLE III—ABRAHAM LINCOLN
BICENTENNIAL 1-CENT COIN REDESIGN
SEC. 301. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, was one of the
Nation’s greatest leaders, demonstrating true courage during
the Civil War, one of the greatest crises in the Nation’s history.
(2) Born of humble roots in Hardin County (present-day
LaRue County), Kentucky, on February 12, 1809, Abraham
Lincoln rose to the Presidency through a combination of honesty,
integrity, intelligence, and commitment to the United
(3) With the belief that all men are created equal, Abraham
Lincoln led the effort to free all slaves in the United States.
(4) Abraham Lincoln had a generous heart, with malice
toward none, and with charity for all.
(5) Abraham Lincoln gave the ultimate sacrifice for the
country he loved, dying from an assassin’s bullet on April
(6) All Americans could benefit from studying the life of
Abraham Lincoln, for Lincoln’s life is a model for accomplishing
the ‘‘American dream’’ through honesty, integrity, loyalty, and
a lifetime of education.
(7) The year 2009 will be the bicentennial anniversary
of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.
(8) Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, grew to adulthood
in Indiana, achieved fame in Illinois, and led the nation
in Washington, D.C.
(9) The so-called ‘‘Lincoln cent’’ was introduced in 1909
on the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, making the obverse
design the most enduring on the nation’s coinage.
(10) President Theodore Roosevelt was so impressed by
the talent of Victor David Brenner that the sculptor was chosen
to design the likeness of President Lincoln for the coin, adapting
a design from a plaque Brenner had prepared earlier.
(11) In the nearly 100 years of production of the ‘‘Lincoln
cent’’, there have been only 2 designs on the reverse: the
original, featuring 2 wheat-heads in memorial style enclosing
mottoes, and the current representation of the Lincoln Memorial
in Washington, D.C.
(12) On the occasion of the bicentennial of President Lincoln’s
birth and the 100th anniversary of the production of
the Lincoln cent, it is entirely fitting to issue a series of 1-
cent coins with designs on the reverse that are emblematic
of the 4 major periods of President Lincoln’s life.
SEC. 302. REDESIGN OF LINCOLN CENT FOR 2009.
(a) IN GENERAL.—During the year 2009, the Secretary of the
Treasury shall issue 1-cent coins in accordance with the following
(1) OBVERSE.—The obverse of the 1-cent coin shall continue
to bear the Victor David Brenner likeness of President Abraham
(2) REVERSE.—The reverse of the coins shall bear 4 different
designs each representing a different aspect of the life of
Abraham Lincoln, such as—
(A) his birth and early childhood in Kentucky;
(B) his formative years in Indiana;
(C) his professional life in Illinois; and
(D) his presidency, in Washington, D.C.
(b) ISSUANCE OF REDESIGNED LINCOLN CENTS IN 2009.—
(1) ORDER.—The 1-cent coins to which this section applies
shall be issued with 1 of the 4 designs referred to in subsection
(a)(2) beginning at the start of each calendar quarter of 2009.
(2) NUMBER.—The Secretary shall prescribe, on the basis
of such factors as the Secretary determines to be appropriate,
the number of 1-cent coins that shall be issued with each
of the designs selected for each calendar quarter of 2009.
(c) DESIGN SELECTION.—The designs for the coins specified
in this section shall be chosen by the Secretary—
(1) after consultation with the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial
Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts; and
(2) after review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
SEC. 303. REDESIGN OF REVERSE OF 1-CENT COINS AFTER 2009.
The design on the reverse of the 1-cent coins issued after
December 31, 2009, shall bear an image emblematic of President
Lincoln’s preservation of the United States of America as a single
and united country.
SEC. 304. NUMISMATIC PENNIES WITH THE SAME METALLIC CONTENT
AS THE 1909 PENNY.
The Secretary of the Treasury shall issue 1-cent coins in 2009
with the exact metallic content as the 1-cent coin contained in
1909 in such number as the Secretary determines to be appropriate
for numismatic purposes.
SEC. 305. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.
It is the sense of the Congress that the original Victor David
Brenner design for the 1-cent coin was a dramatic departure from
previous American coinage that should be reproduced, using the
original form and relief of the likeness of Abraham Lincoln, on
the 1-cent coins issued in 2009.
Approved December 22, 2005.
Also check out: The LCR Top 10 2009 DDR's
2009 Copper Lincoln Cent Issues
Images by Jason Cuvelieir