2010 Lincoln Cent

2010 Lincoln Cent (with line-art obverse) - Click to Enlarge

2010 Lincoln Cent (with line-art obverse) - Click to Enlarge

The 2010 Lincoln Cent is due to premier on February 11, 2010, at a special ceremony held in Springfield, Illinois. It brings to a close a series of coins that started in 2009 to honor the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

The Presidential Coin Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-145) included a provision for the design of the 2010 Lincoln Cent stating that:

"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"

In accordance with those instructions, a Union Shield design has been chosen to grace the reverse of all one cent coins to be issued starting in 2010 and continuing indefinitely. It was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Associate Designer Lyndall Bass and engraved by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna. The shield contains thirteen stripes relating to the original thirteen colonies of the United States of America. It bears the inscription "E Pluribus Unum" on it with a scroll containing the words "One Cent" draped across it. Arcing over the top is "United States of America."

Union shields were first seen in the 1780's and were commonly used during Lincoln's administration, most notably on the frescoes placed on the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building being constructed at the time.

2009 saw four new Lincoln cents, also issued under the same program, the Log Cabin Cent, the Rail Splitter Cent, the Professional Life Cent and the Presidency Cent. They were released in intervals throughout the year. Previous to these new designs, the Lincoln Cent had featured the same reverse since 1959, an image of the Lincoln Memorial. Preceding that was a design that also lasted 50 years, the Wheat Cent.

All the aforementioned pennies contained the Victor David Brenner portrait of Abraham Lincoln on their obverses. This will continue to be featured on the obverse of the 2010 and beyond Lincoln Cents.

Lincoln 2010 Cent Specifications

Mintmark: D (Philadelphia strikes have none)
Finish/Condition: Circulated
Composition: 2.5% Copper, 97.5% Zinc
Weight: 2.500 grams nominal
Diameter: 0.750 inches or 19.05 mm
Edge: Plain
Date of Issue: 11 February 2010
Mintages: based on demand
Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
Reverse Designer/Engraver: Lyndall Bass/Joseph Menna

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