– Lincoln Cent (Modern) (1959 to Date)

The Lincoln Cent, in its modern form, has been minted from 1959 to the present day, making it one of the longest-running coin series in United States history.  

Designed by Frank Gasparro, the Lincoln Cent was introduced to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth and replaced the Wheat Reverse design that had been in circulation since 1909. 

The obverse of the modern Lincoln Cent features a right-facing bust of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, based on the same iconic portrait used on the earlier Wheat Reverse design.  

The reverse of the coin has undergone several design changes over the years. From 1959 to 2008, it featured the Lincoln Memorial, designed by Frank Gasparro, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. 

The memorial is flanked by the inscriptions "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" and "E PLURIBUS UNUM," with the denomination "ONE CENT" below. 

In 2009, to mark the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth and the sesquicentennial of the issuance of the Lincoln cent, the reverse design was temporarily changed to feature four different scenes from Lincoln's life, including his birthplace, his formative years in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois, and his presidency in Washington, D.C. 

Since 2010, the reverse design of the Lincoln Cent has featured the Union Shield, designed by Lyndall Bass, symbolizing Lincoln's preservation of the United States as a single nation during the Civil War.  

The shield is surrounded by the inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," with the denomination "ONE CENT" below and the motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM" above. 

The modern Lincoln Cent has been minted using a copper-plated zinc composition since 1982, with 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. This composition helps to reduce production costs while maintaining the coin's appearance and durability. 

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