Lincoln cents, first minted in 1909 were coins ahead of their time. It was the first regularly issued coin depicting a historical figure. Prior to 1909, US coins depicted personifications of Liberty. Since 1909, other denominations slowly shifted to historical figures including the Jefferson Nickel (1938), the Roosevelt Dime (1945), the Washington Quarter (1932), the Ben Franklin half dollar (1948), and the Eisenhower dollar (1971).
The longevity of the Lincoln cent is incredible. Threfore, I am dividing my lecture into categories as follows:
Go to the wheat cents page to learn about the early years (1909 to 1959). We'll discuss the designer, Victor David Brenner, and the controversy about his intials. We'll talk about the rare dates such as 1909S VDB, 1914 D and the 1955 double die.
Go to the Lincoln Memorial cent page to read about the 1959 to 2008 era. It's not as dull as you might think. Although there are no rare dates, there are intersting vaireties such as the 1960 small date (which played a major role in coin collecting), various double dies, and the wide AM vs. close AM lettering varieties. Believe it or not, the most valuable coin you are likely to find in change might be a Lincoln Memorial cent!
The year 2009 featured commemrative coins about the life of Lincoln.
In 2010, the Lincoln shield cent was introduced. Will it last fifty years like the wheat cent and Lincoln Memorial cent? Unfortunately probably not.