The U.S. Mint is changing the designs on the Lincoln penny in 2009 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday and the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln penny. The face of the penny has remained the same since its introduction in 1909. The design on the reverse side, however, was changed in 1959 from wheat stalks to the current design of the Lincoln Memorial.
The U.S. Mint recently revealed that it will introduce four rotating designs on the 1-cent coin for 2009 that will depict different aspects of Lincoln’s life. Here are some of the designs being considered:
The commemorative coins will only be made in 2009; in 2010, news pennies will include a new permanent design.
I expect that the 2009 pennies will become collectors’ items, just like the 2004 and 2005 Westward Journey nickels have become. When 2009 rolls around, I will be sure to purchase a few rolls of the new pennies from my local bank branch.
*** Update - September 23, 2008 ***
The U.S. Mint revealed the four new designs for the U.S. penny in a ceremony on September 22, 2008. The four designs shown above in this post were merely among the proposed designs. The designs that are actually going to be used are discussed in a recent post I wrote discussing the new designs for the 2009 U.S. penny.