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Presidential Designs Prove Popular, And a New Penny Is Set for Release

James Monroe dollar coin (top); and the proposed penny back design

The new presidential $1 coin is on a roll. In less than a year, it has outsold and outcirculated its two most recent predecessors, the Sacagawea and Susan B. Anthony coins. "I think it all boils down to dollar coins have become more useful. It's also because of the rotating design," says U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy. Below, a look at the newest $1 coin and penny designs.

James Monroe Dollar Coin

The fifth design in the presidential $1 coin series -- James Monroe -- is set to make its debut on Valentine's Day. Previous coins featured George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. While experts say it is impossible to predict future collecting value of the presidential coins, they agree that the novelty of the series and its limited run provide unique potential.

Proposed Penny Back Design

In another move likely to interest collectors, the U.S. Mint plans to honor Abraham Lincoln with four new reverse-side designs for the penny throughout 2009 to mark the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. The first design will pay tribute to the birth of Lincoln; the second will reflect his boyhood in southern Indiana; the third (left) will deal with his professional life in Illinois and the fourth, his presidency.

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