2009 Lincoln penny design images were revealed by U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy Monday morning during a news conference at the Lincoln Memorial. The four reverse designs celebrate a different aspect of Abraham Lincoln’s life: his birth and childhood in Kentucky, his formative years in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois and his Presidency in Washington, D.C.
"This is a momentous occasion in the history of our Nation’s coinage because these designs represent the first change in the Lincoln cent in half a century," said Director Moy.
"These coins are a tribute to one of our greatest Presidents whose legacy has had a lasting impact on our country. He believed all men were created equal, and his life was a model for accomplishing the American dream through honesty, integrity, loyalty, and a lifetime of education."
The four-coin series was authorized to celebrate the bicentennial of President Lincoln’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln cent. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809. The first new cent will begin circulating in the U.S. on the same day in 2009 — the 200th anniversary of his birth.
When that cent is issued, it will mark first time the image on the penny has changed in half a century. In 1959, the currently used Memorial reverse replaced the well known Wheat Ears design. The new designs will be issued in approximately three-month intervals throughout the year.
The obverse or heads side of the one-cent coins will continue to bear Victor David Brenner’s likeness of President Lincoln, introduced in 1909. At the end of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coin Program, the reverse of the penny will feature a design emblematic of President Lincoln’s preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country.
In addition to new circulation pennies, the Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Coin Act also calls for up to 500,000 commemorative silver dollars for collectors in 2009.