2009 Lincoln Pennies and Bicentennial Coins
This year the United States Mint struck four different pennies and two silver dollars in celebration of the life and legacy of one of America's greatest leaders, Abraham Lincoln. 2009 Lincoln pennies commemorate the bicentennial birth of President Lincoln and the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln cent.
While the obverse or heads side of the cents have remained unchanged, new reverse designs beautifully portray facets of Lincoln's life. The first, second and third cents have already launched into circulation. Here are small images and links to each of the four new penny designs:
2009 Lincoln Cents
When the inaugural 2009 penny was issued on Lincoln's birthday, Feb. 12, it marked the first redesign of the cent in 50 years. At the time the 2009 Lincoln cent designs were first revealed, United States Mint Director Ed Moy said:
"This is a momentous occasion in the history of our Nation's coinage because these designs represent the first change in the Lincoln cent in half a century.
These coins are a tribute to one of our greatest Presidents whose legacy has had a lasting impact on our country. He believed all men were created equal, and his life was a model for accomplishing the American dream through honesty, integrity, loyalty, and a lifetime of education."
Each 2009 penny is released into general circulation at approximately three-months intervals. The first three redesigned pennies have already been issued. Although the US Mint has not officially declared the exact issue date for the final cent, the expected launch date is Nov. 12. (See Lincoln cent release dates.)
Following each release, the US Mint offers two-roll sets of the Lincoln pennies directly to the public - although millions have been minted, finding them in circulation has been a difficult task. 96,000 of the Lincoln Cent Birthplace sets sold out within two weeks. The second penny launch was even more spectacular. Lincoln Rail Splitter penny sales steamed like a locomotive, with over 400,000 rolls sold in just four days. And more than 300,000 rolls of the Professional Life cent were purchased by collectors in four days.
At the conclusion of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Pennies Program -- years 2010 and beyond -- the one-cent coin will feature a reverse design that will be "emblematic of President Lincoln's preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country."
2009 Lincoln Silver Dollars further honor America's revered leader. The United States Mint has struck collector proof and uncirculated silver coins with a limited total mintage of 500,000.
2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Silver Coins
In the first week of sales alone, 116,558 of the proofs and 61,164 of the uncirculated coins were purchased by collectors. By the second week, nearly half of the authorized mintages were sold. All individual coins were sold out within six weeks, with numbers coming in at 125,000 for the uncirculated and 325,000 for the proof option.
That left the remaining 50,000 for the 2009 US Mint Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set, which the Mint added to its online store on Sept. 28. The set includes a Lincoln Silver Dollar proof coin and four special proof 95% copper Lincoln cents. It is priced at $55.95, with a per household order limit of one. Ordering opens at noon ET at Oct. 15, 2009.
The Lincoln coins were authorized through the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, which was signed into law (Public Law 109-145) on Dec. 22, 2005 by President George Bush.