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  • The longest running series in the history of United States coinage prepares for yet another make over in 2010. The Lincoln Cent was first created to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln in 1909. Since that date, the design has been changed to mark two other anniversaries in 1959 and 2009.

    The 1909 Lincoln Cent was designed by Victor D. Brenner. He was a Lithuaniun born immigrant to the United States who had prepared a bust of Lincoln a few years prior, which would become the basis for his penny design. The reverse of the coin was also his design and features a pair of wheat stalks, paying homage to the United States agrarian roots. The coin was released for the 100th anniversary or centennial of Lincoln’s birth.

    Fifty years later to celebrate the sesquicentennial or 150th anniversary, a new reverse design was created by Frank Gasparro. This design featured the Lincoln Memorial building. The original Lincoln Cents obverse or “heads” design was retained and paired with the new reverse.

    One hundred years after the release of the first coin in the series, another reverse redesign was authorized. This celebrated the bicentennial or 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. With a hat tip to the success of the 50 State Quarters series, the new reverse design was not one, but four designs which would be released at intervals throughout the year. These designs featured the different aspects of Lincoln’s life.

    One year later, a final and permanent new reverse design will be featured on the 2010 Lincoln Cent. For the first time, this does not mark any particular anniversary, simply the year after an anniversary. The new design will be representative of Lincoln’s preservation of the Union.

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