Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Designs for the 2009 U.S. Penny

In September 2007 I discussed proposed new designs for the 2009 Lincoln cent (a.k.a., the U.S. penny coin). The front side of the Lincoln cent will remain unchanged, continuing to show a profile view of Abraham Lincoln. The obverse side, however, will be changed to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. (2009 will also mark the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln cent - the first Lincoln cents were introduced in 1909.) This will mark the second time that the observe has been changed. Between 1909 and 1958, wheat stalks were shown on the observe side and the current design of the Lincoln Memorial has been shown on the obverse side since 1959.

There are going to be four new designs shown on the obverse sides of Lincoln cents in 2009, with a new design being introduced every three months. The first new Lincoln cent is scheduled to be introduced into circulation on February 12, 2009, Lincoln's birthday.

The first design shows a log cabin, representing the cabin in Kentucky where Lincoln was born. The second design depicts a young Lincoln reading a book while taking a break from working as a rail splitter in Indiana. The third design shows Lincoln as a young lawyer standing in front of the former Illinois state capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. The fourth coin depicts the half-completed U.S. Capitol dome, representative of Lincoln's order that construction of the Capitol continue during the Civil War as a symbol that the Union would survive.