By Numismatic News
The first new
Lincoln cent reverse in 50 years was officially
"born" Feb. 12 at the same location in Kentucky
as the 16th President of the United States
midwifed by the Deputy Director of the U.S.
Mint, Andy Brunhart.
Brunhart was joined on the 200th anniversary of
Lincoln's birth in Hodgenville, Ky., by Gov.
Steven L. Beshear at the LaRue County High
School gymnasium for the formal ceremonial
launch attended by over 1,000 people.
There will be four different 2009 cent reverse
designs issued to mark the bicentennial of
The first of the new reverses depicts a cabin
from the nearby Abraham Lincoln Birthplace
National Historic Site that symbolizes the kind
of crude structure in which Lincoln arrived in
"The new Lincoln cent is a milestone moment for
the United States Mint and for our country,"
"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," he explained.
After the speeches Brunhart and Beshear gave
away thousands of the one-cent coins to children
ages 18 and under in attendance.
Adults were able to exchange their coins and
paper money for the new one-cent pieces
The log cabin reverse design was created by U.S.
Mint Artistic Infusion Program master designer
Richard Masters and it was sculpted by Mint
sculptor-engraver Jim Licaretz.
The century-old Lincoln portrait stays on the
obverse. It was designed by Victor David
The next three designs will be released at
three-month intervals. The next ones will show
him as a young man in Indiana, as a lawyer in
Illinois and the final one will symbolize his
The standard copper-coated zinc composition is
used for the coins struck for use in
Numismatic versions of the four commemorative
cents will have exactly the same metallic
content as the 1909 coin (95 percent copper,
five percent tin and zinc). These collector
coins will be minted in proof and uncirculated
condition, and will be included in Mint
Free lesson plans about the 2009 Lincoln
Bicentennial cent program are available online