HODGENVILLE, Ky. — The United States Mint launched the first redesigned one–cent coin (penny) in 50 years in a ceremony today–the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The redesigned Lincoln penny, released into circulation today, features a log cabin on the coin’s reverse (tails side), emblematic of Lincoln’s humble roots in Kentucky.
“The new Lincoln cent is a milestone moment for the United States Mint and for our country,” said United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart. “The coin is a tribute to a humble man who rose to great heights living by principles of honesty, integrity and loyalty, principles that never go out of fashion. More importantly, Americans will forever hold dear Lincoln’s legacy – an enduring Nation, united in the pursuit of equality for all.”
Mr. Brunhart and Kentucky Governor Steven L. Beshear presented thousands of shiny, new one–cent coins to children ages 18 and under in attendance at a ceremonial launch held at the LaRue County High School gymnasium. Following the ceremony, participants exchanged their coins and currency for the one–cent coins bearing the new design.
The log cabin design is the first of four new designs Americans will see on the reverse of the penny this year. Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM and ONE CENT, as well as the inscription 1809, the year President Lincoln was born. The coin’s reverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Jim Licaretz.
The obverse (heads) of the redesigned Lincoln penny will continue to bear sculptor Victor David Brenner’s likeness of President Lincoln, introduced in 1909. Inscriptions on the obverse are IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY and 2009.
The United States Mint also will issue numismatic versions of the four redesigned pennies with exactly the same metallic content as the 1909 coin (95 percent copper, five percent tin and zinc). These coins will be minted in proof and uncirculated condition, and will be included in the United States Mint’s annual product offerings.
The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–145) authorized the United States Mint to issue four different pennies throughout 2009 to recognize the bicentennial anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the production of the Lincoln penny. The reverse designs featured on the series of circulating coins are emblematic of four periods, or themes, in the life of Abraham Lincoln: his birth and early childhood in Kentucky; his formative years in Indiana; his professional life in Illinois; and his presidency in Washington, D.C. The coins will be issued in approximately three–month intervals. At the conclusion of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One–Cent Coin Program, the one–cent coin will feature a reverse design emblematic of President Lincoln’s preservation of the United States of America.
Free lesson plans about the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One–Cent Coin Program are available online at http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/.
Digital images of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One–Cent Coins are available at