BC^3's Blog

19 Dec 2022

How Many Cents are in Lincoln’s Portrait?

Young Numismatists Exchange | BC^3

When I was visiting the ANA Money Museum (in Colorado Springs) I found a Lincoln portrait poster which created a picture of Lincoln out of cents, similar to pixel drawings where each cent would be placed in a certain area based on its color to make a larger image. Now this on its own would be coo,l but not really article material, so I decided that instead of using modern coins (Zincolns) I would use only Wheat cents (1909-1958) since that was the first time he appeared on one cent coins after all. For the eyes I used steel cents (only made in 1943) and background requires new red coins, and as I'm sure you know it is incredibly difficult to find Wheat cents in high grades in circulation. So I wouldn't have been able to find the number of red cents needed if not for my parental finding an error finder on a coin forum and purchasing the necessary uncirculated rolls (from the 1950s) and allowing me to use some of the cents from his bag of thousands of toned Wheat cents pulled from change. The construction itself wasn't incredibly difficult; rather it was very time consuming, since I could only place a few rows before needing to let the glue dry (I know many of you are cringing at that but don't worry we double checked and none of them were rare or valuable for more than copper value). The goal is to display it at our local liberty or bank as part of the Ancient Coins Project through the YN program. As part of that I will create a placard with information from my own research and from the literature that accompanied the template kit.If you wish to make your own I will list the materials here: 846 cents (of varying degrees of wear), the Abraham Lincoln Poster Kit or another template of your choosing, PVA glue, a sturdy frame (that can hold around 5 pounds), time, patience and a friend who will put up with you. This project definitely taught me about the varying oxidation of different metals, how luster is formed and can be preserved, more of Lincoln's history and why he was put on the one cent coin in the first place. I would say that this is a very enjoyable project but definitely not for everyone, seeing as it is fairly expensive to do, takes quite a bit of time before you even see progress, and requires rather steady hands combined with terrible posture. But I think that describes most of collecting anyway, so if it interests you go ahead. Thanks once again to the ANA money museum for supplying us with this really interesting and cool project!



Level 6

What a great project! Good job! ; )


Level 7

Looks good. patience. I wonder if you could do that with other presidents!?


Level 3

There are programs that will turn images into bit art, and you could do that with any President's portrait. Then it is just blowing up the image to print on a poster and making each "square" bit into a circle the size of a cent. And then paste away. I don't think other coins will tone as easily into many different shades the way cents do, so it might be hard to do a Jefferson with nickels, a Washington with quarters, and so on.


Level 6

Cool project. Great idea. Looks cool.


Level 5

very cool project. using wheaties makes it wonderful.


Level 5

Amazing! Very nice work of art. Might be worth more monetarily then you paid to make it? Definitely a family heirloom to hold on to. Well done, thanks for sharing your project.


Level 3

The wheat cent value probably less after glues, even though I used water soluble glue. Probably some damage. As folk art, who knows how much it might be worth? I hope to get it displayed at a bank or library (maybe even a coin show), for part of Ancient coins project and also for YN dollars.

AC Coin$🌎

Level 6

Excellent task to accomplish. Wow!!! The image is impressive.

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