To commemorate the birth of the sixteenth President of the United States 200 years ago, the United States Mint created four bicentennial pennies featuring new 2009-only designs.
These coins were issued at separate times throughout the year. Excited crowds of people lined up at US Mint release ceremonies eager to see and then own them. The cents were and are a collecting hit. However, getting the coins from sources outside of these ceremonies or from the Mint was not easy. Fewer were minted. Fewer found their way into daily change as a result of the recession. That leads to the simple question …how many were made?
Coin production figures from the United States Mint have been released for December. The data shows that no additional circulating cents were struck, which means the mintages for all four of the 2009 Lincoln Pennies are now known.
The US Mint cut coin production last year as hoards of old coins were being pushed back into daily change and then bank vaults by a cash-strapped public. With banks having fresh inventory of old coinage, less orders were placed for newly minted coins. US Mint presses became idle. While many collectors expected lower levels for the fourth 2009 Lincoln Presidency Penny due to these circumstances, few could expect what turned out to be a free fall. The last penny design is by far the most scarce, as the following table highlights:
2009 Lincoln Cent Mintages
|2009-P Formative Years||376,000,000|
|2009-D Formative Years||363,600,000|
|2009-P Professional Life||316,000,000|
|2009-D Professional Life||336,000,000|
The 129.6 million Lincoln Presidency cents struck in Philadelphia mark the lowest mintage levels in decades. Those from Denver follow at 198 million. In the starkest of contrasts, a total of 5,419,200,000 pennies were produced in 2008 while only 2,354,000,000 were made in 2009. If there is a modern penny to collect, starting with the Presidency cent would not be a bad decision.
For more information on last year’s cents to include images and coin specifications, check out the page: 2009 Lincoln Cents.
The 2010 Lincoln cent design is expected to launch in February. It features a reverse design depicting the Union Shield which is "emblematic of President Lincoln’s preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country." No changes will be made to the penny after 2010 unless there is a new law so mandating.