WASHINGTON — The United States Mint launched the fourth 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One–Cent Coin today in a ceremony held at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial located below the west front of the U.S. Capitol Building. The coin, bearing a reverse (tails side) design emblematic of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency in Washington, D.C., is the final coin in the 2009 Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial One–Cent Program.
“The fourth and final 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One–Cent Coin design evokes the historical challenges of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency,” said United States Mint Director Ed Moy. “The image of an incomplete U.S. Capitol symbolizes the unfinished business of a Nation torn apart by slavery and the Civil War.”
Donald R. Kennon, Chief Historian of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, and Eileen R. Mackevich, Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, joined in the ceremonial launch. Following the ceremony, adults exchanged their currency for two to six rolls of 2009 Lincoln “Presidency” Bicentennial One–Cent Coins. Children ages 18 and younger received a newly minted one–cent coin to commemorate the event.
The reverse of the 2009 Lincoln “Presidency” Bicentennial One–Cent Coin features the partially completed U.S. Capitol dome, symbolizing Lincoln’s resolve as he guided the country through its gravest crisis. Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM and ONE CENT. The coin’s obverse (heads side) features sculptor Victor David Brenner’s familiar image of President Lincoln, which debuted in 1909. Inscriptions on the obverse are IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY and 2009.
Today, the United States Mint released to the Federal Reserve Bank millions of one–cent coins bearing the “Presidency” design. The agency also will offer the new coin in two–roll sets at its online catalog, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, and at the toll–free number, 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468), beginning today at noon Eastern Time (ET). Hearing– and speech–impaired customers with TTY equipment may order the coins by calling 1–888–321–MINT (6468). The set contains one roll of 50 coins from the United States Mint at Philadelphia with no mint mark and one roll of 50 coins from the United States Mint at Denver bearing the “D” mint mark. There is an order limit of five sets per household.
In addition to the one–cent coins produced for general circulation and the two–roll sets, the United States Mint also issued numismatic versions of the four redesigned one–cent coins with the same metallic content as the 1909 coin – 95 percent copper, five percent tin and zinc. These coins, minted in proof and uncirculated conditions, are included in the United States Mint’s annual proof and uncirculated coin sets and the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One–Cent Proof Set.
Today’s ceremony was the culmination of a series of events held this year to celebrate the release of one–cent coins with reverse designs that honor the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth and the centennial of the first issuance of the Lincoln cent. As outlined in Title III of Public Law 109–145 (the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005), the 2009 reverse designs have reflected four distinct phases of Lincoln’s life: his birth in Kentucky, his formative years in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois, and his presidency in Washington, D.C.
Beginning in 2010, the United States Mint will mint and issue a new one–cent coin with a reverse design emblematic of Lincoln’s preservation of the United States as a single, unified country. The design for this new Lincoln one–cent coin was also unveiled at today’s ceremony.
The new reverse will feature a union shield with a scroll draped across it bearing the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM. The 13 vertical stripes of the shield represent the states joined in one compact union to support the Federal government, represented by the horizontal bar above. In addition, the shield device is featured throughout the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building on frescoes by Constantino Brumidi, the artist of the Capitol during Lincoln’s presidency.
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792. The agency is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. The United States Mint’s primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The agency also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.
Free lesson plans about the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One–Cent Coin Program are available online at: /kids/teachers/index.html.
Digital images of the 2009 Lincoln “Presidency” Bicentennial One–Cent Coin are available at /coins/%coin-program%/lincoln-penny.
A satellite feed of B–Roll footage of the event, coin exchange, and production and design will be available on : Thursday, November 12th, 2:30–2:45 PM ET, AMC 3, Tr. 22, DL 4140V; and Friday, November 13th, 1:00–1:15 PM ET, Galaxy 19, Tr. 20, DL 4100.