Lincoln Cent Designs

The Lincoln Cent has been undergone a number of reverse design changes during the long duration of the series. The series was first introduced in 1909 featuring a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse designed by Victor D. Brenner. This obverse has remained in use continuously to the current day with only minor modifications.

Wheat Cents

The first reverse design featured a pair of wheat ears. This was also designed by Victor D. Brenner. The reverse appears on all Lincoln Cents dated between 1909 and 1958.

Memorial Cent

The second reverse design was issued to mark the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. It is a depiction of the Lincoln Memorial designed by Frank Gasparro. The design was used for Lincoln Cents dated between 1959 and 2008.

2009 Lincoln Cent

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, a series of four different reverse designs were used for the 2009 Lincoln Cents. These designs presented the different stages of his life in order. The designs included his Birthplace and Childhood, Formative Years, Professional Life, and Presidency. The designs were released in roughly equal intervals throughout the year.

Union Shield Cent

The final and current reverse design was first issued in 2010, and will be used for the foreseeable future. It features the Union Shield consisting of thirteen vertical stripes bound by a single horizontal bar. This design is intended to be emblematic of Lincoln's preservation of the United States of America.
Lincoln Cent Rolls