2010 Lincoln Cent Design Unveiled

by CoinNews.net on November 12, 2009 · 12 comments

2010 Lincoln One-Cent Coin Reverse DesignThe US Mint today pulled away the drapes and revealed the new 2010 Lincoln Cent reverse design. The 2010 penny is a continuation of sorts of the themed 2009 designs, which reflect 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. 

The 2010 cent theme is "emblematic of President Lincoln’s preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country," and was outlined in authorizing Public Law 109-145.

While this year’s cents were issued to celebrate the bicentennial birth of Abraham Lincoln and are minted for 2009 only, next year’s penny design has no specific end date. It could be seen by generations yet to come. Congress would have to marshal through new legislation for ANY change to occur.

With that in mind, there was considerable collector attention as well as thoughts proffered for several possible 2010 designs that were released by the US Mint earlier in the year. (See CFA and CCAC reviews and coin images of these on Numismaster.com.)

The final 2010 design was unveiled for the first time today at the Lincoln Presidency cent launch ceremony. 


"The reverse features 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," the Mint said in a statement. 


The union shield, which dates back to the 1780s, was used widely during the Civil War. In addition, the shield device is featured on frescoes throughout the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building by Constantino Brumidi, artist of the Capitol during Lincoln’s presidency. It was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Associate Designer Lyndall Bass and engraved by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.

The coin’s obverse will remain unchanged, featuring sculptor Victor David Brenner’s familiar image of President Lincoln, which debuted in 1909.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon November 13, 2009 at 8:41 am

such a ugly design.

Charles K. Miller November 13, 2009 at 3:00 pm

This design is fine in my opinion. But, please keep in mind the demise of the Commemorative 50c market from 1938-1982, based largely upon a flooding of the market (demand) for many years.

Brian "GOOF" Young November 13, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Looks good to me. Are they making them out of steel?

Brian "GOOF" Young November 13, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Looks good to me. They should be making it out of steel.

Don November 13, 2009 at 9:33 pm

My first reaction is it’s very plain. Couldn’t they have come up with something a little more artistic? They should have just gone back to the Lincoln Memorial design.

D. Harris November 13, 2009 at 10:31 pm

The new design is so simple that it’s ugly. The design lacks originality. It definitely does not reflect Lincoln’s efforts to preserve our Nation.

the x November 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm

what is that?,it’s so ulgy.

the x November 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm

its the beginning of the end for the lincoln cent.

Mike Zwolinski November 14, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Hideous ugly, bland, plain design. Is this the best that they could have chosen?
And why not change the obverse? After 100 years, enough is enough. Why not change the perspective or angle of Lincoln to match that of the nickel with Jefferson?

Keemboh Alcaraz November 15, 2009 at 3:31 pm

I hope they change the composition from zinc to steel.
The design, not so much.

w December 1, 2009 at 12:11 pm

i bet in 2059 the lincoln cent will be changed again if its still around.

poor choice August 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm

in memory of lincoln i perhaps a special firing of real copper for an entire year? in his memory i vote to leave it as is. for me it loses something in that copperLike look. not all change is a good thing. some things are better as is.

Leave a Comment