iccoins's Blog

27 Jan 2019

Learn Your Types: Lincoln Bicentennial

Coins-United States | iccoins

Generally, I would not write an entire article about a specific year, but these are interesting coins and I believe they are worthy of an extended look. 2008 was the last year for the popular, but long-lived Lincoln Memorial Cent. In 2010, they were replaced with the Lincoln Shield Cent. 2009, however, was the 100-year anniversary of the Lincoln Cent, which was originally introduced in 1909 with the Lincoln Wheat Cent. The obverse of the coin has remained the same for 110 years, as of the time of this writing. In 2009, the Mint released four different reverse designs recognizing the bicentennial of his birth. Each reverse design was issue during one quarter of 2009, similar to how the Mint releases the National Park/America The Beautiful quarter series. Each coin essentially goes in the order of his life. The first reverse, Birthplace, depicts the Lincoln’s small log cabin in Kentucky. The second shows Lincoln sitting on a log reading a book during his teenage years. The third, Professional Life, shows Lincoln in front of the Illinois state capitol. During this time in his life, he served for eight years in the Illinois state legislature as a lawyer. The final coin shows his career until his assassination, his presidency. Known as the Presidency reverse, this shows the US Capitol, but in an unfinished state, as it was when he was president. This coin has the same composition as the 1982 to present Lincoln cents with 99% zinc, 1% copper, with a weight of 2.5 grams and a 19-millimeter diameter. 

Mint Locations 

No mintmark  Philadelphia 

D – Denver 

S – San Francisco 

Key Dates and Errors 

All four reverse designs have similar mintage numbers and have practically no value beyond the one cent face value. The Mint did create an Abraham Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set of proof versions of all four coins and also did create the general proof coins in San Francisco with the “S” mintmark. The proof versions have a slight premium of only around $3. There is also a copper type specifically for collectors for around $10. These coins have a different composition than the regular coins. The Satin Finish coins use 95% copper and a 5% tin and zinc combination, like with the 1909-1982 Lincoln Cents. 

Should I Get A Lincoln Bicentennial Cent Graded? 

No. You should not. If you would like one that is graded and slabbed, you can find them cheaply on eBay and other coin dealers. It is not worth the time or money to send these coins in to PCGS, NGC, ANACS, or ICG. If you have an error coin, which is possible, most likely a doubled die error, you may want to send that coin in, depending on the value. Even 70 quality coins generally will not provide you with a reasonable return on investment to make it valuable to have it professionally graded. 


Yeoman, R S. A Guide Book of United States Coins 2018 Essential Edition: The Official Red Book. Whitman Publishing, LLC, 2017. 

"PCGS Photograde Online - Estimating Coin Grades Has Never Been Easier." PCGS,www.pcgs.com/photograde/. 



Level 4

Interesting article . I enjoyed it. Thank you.


Level 6

Great research. Thanks for an interesting blog! Enjoyed it. ; )

You don't find these in pocket change much anymore already. I read they had bad distribution/release problems back in 2009. You can still gather a set of 2004-2005 Jefferson nickels in change much easier.


Level 6

You could say that the 2009 cents are "semi-key coins". That year the mintage was lower, plus split between four different designs.


Level 6

Good, well researched blog. I enjoyed reading it and your sources. Thanks.

It's Mokie

Level 6

I thought it was a very novel ideal when they did those four designs, and then smoothly switching to the shield reverse makes it even more special. The Lincoln Cent is the only design that does not need a facelift, Honest Abe can go on for another hundred years or until the Mint goes Canada on old Abe. (:


Level 4

I agree! I would like the obverse switched up a bit, though. Even like what they did with the Jefferson Nickel would be great. I don't want to US to stop minting cents. They're great coins and I don't think people would like having to round up everything :/


Level 6

I like the 2009 Lincolns. Don't see too many in change.


Level 4

Me too. The Mint didn't make too many 2009 coins and that also went for these coins to some extent.


Level 7

Thanks for the info. Mike


Level 4

Glad you enjoyed!

I love the deigns, I still save good examples while coin roll hunting, but these were produces very plentifully absolutely no reason to get them graded. Thanks for writing.


Level 4

That's pretty much what I said :) I actually save every one I come across when I'm hunting through them. I miss coin roll hunting. I used to do it until my bank started having a different policy on coin boxes.

We use cookies to provide users the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we'll assume that you agree to receive all cookies on money.org. You may disable cookies at any time using your internet browser configuration. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use. To learn more about how we use cookies and to review our privacy policy, click here.