The Lincoln Shield Cent: Abe's Swan Song?

lincoln shield cent

By 2010, the Lincoln obverse design had survived over one hundred years -- longer than any other coin design in US history. Since the Lincoln cent originated in 1909, inflation has taken its toll. The cent is only worth about 5% of what it was once. The mint must spend well over its face value to produce them. The cent is worth so little that cups of cents are found in convenience stores saying "take one, leave one." Sadly, the cent has become a coin that many could do without. In my view, it will not survive much longer.

The reverse of the shield cent

The reverse of the cent features the Union shield. The word one cent is raised above it. This means that the coins denomination will be the first words to wear off. This flaw existed on the 1913 buffalo nickel, whose design was quickly changed. In this case, no one (except for Dr. Planchet) cares. Cents don't really circulate. When people get them in change, they throw them in drawers and forget about them. And sadly, I predict, this will be the demise of the US cent coin.