On February 11, 2010, the new 2010 Lincoln Cent was launched at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois — the city where Lincoln spent much of his adult life. Images of the obverse and reverse of the new cent were also released. Until now, the US Mint had unveiled only the line art penny design.
The collector excitement level of redesigned Lincoln cents has been high. Beginning in 2009, the United States Mint issued four new reverse designs that celebrated the bicentennial anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.
Each of the 2009 Lincoln coins celebrated a different aspect of his life:
- Lincoln’s early life and humble beginnings in Kentucky from the years 1809-1816.
- Lincoln’s formative years in Indiana from 1816-1830.
- Lincoln’s professional life in Illinois from 1830-1861.
- Lincoln’s Presidency in Washington, DC from 1861 to 1865.
The new 2010 Lincoln “Preservation of the Union” cent is emblematic of President Lincoln’s preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country. The reverse features a union shield with a scroll draped across it bearing the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM.
“The 13 vertical stripes of the shield represent the states joined in one compact union to support the Federal government, represented by the horizontal bar above,” the Mint said in a statement.
It was designed by Lyndall Bass and engraved by Joseph Menna. The new design is expected to be used for the next 49 years, according to the speech given by US Mint Director Edmund Moy during the ceremony. The obverse bears the Victor David Brenner likeness of Lincoln that has appeared on the penny dating back to its inaugural release in 1909.
The 2010 Lincoln cent has a metallic content of 2.5 percent copper, with the balance being zinc and will be issued for circulation in quantities to meet the demands of commerce.