Generally, I would not write an entire article about a specific year, but these are interesting coins and I believe they are worthy of an extended look. 2008 was the last year for the popular, but long-lived Lincoln Memorial Cent. In 2010, they were replaced with the Lincoln Shield Cent. 2009, however, was the 100-year anniversary of the Lincoln Cent, which was originally introduced in 1909 with the Lincoln Wheat Cent. The obverse of the coin has remained the same for 110 years, as of the time of this writing. In 2009, the Mint released four different reverse designs recognizing the bicentennial of his birth. Each reverse design was issue during one quarter of 2009, similar to how the Mint releases the National Park/America The Beautiful quarter series. Each coin essentially goes in the order of his life. The first reverse, Birthplace, depicts the Lincoln’s small log cabin in Kentucky. The second shows Lincoln sitting on a log reading a book during his teenage years. The third, Professional Life, shows Lincoln in front of the Illinois state capitol. During this time in his life, he served for eight years in the Illinois state legislature as a lawyer. The final coin shows his career until his assassination, his presidency. Known as the Presidency reverse, this shows the US Capitol, but in an unfinished state, as it was when he was president. This coin has the same composition as the 1982 to present Lincoln cents with 99% zinc, 1% copper, with a weight of 2.5 grams and a 19-millimeter diameter.
No mintmark – Philadelphia
D – Denver
S – San Francisco
Key Dates and Errors
All four reverse designs have similar mintage numbers and have practically no value beyond the one cent face value. The Mint did create an Abraham Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set of proof versions of all four coins and also did create the general proof coins in San Francisco with the “S” mintmark. The proof versions have a slight premium of only around $3. There is also a copper type specifically for collectors for around $10. These coins have a different composition than the regular coins. The Satin Finish coins use 95% copper and a 5% tin and zinc combination, like with the 1909-1982 Lincoln Cents.
Should I Get A Lincoln Bicentennial Cent Graded?
No. You should not. If you would like one that is graded and slabbed, you can find them cheaply on eBay and other coin dealers. It is not worth the time or money to send these coins in to PCGS, NGC, ANACS, or ICG. If you have an error coin, which is possible, most likely a doubled die error, you may want to send that coin in, depending on the value. Even 70 quality coins generally will not provide you with a reasonable return on investment to make it valuable to have it professionally graded.
Yeoman, R S. A Guide Book of United States Coins 2018 Essential Edition: The Official Red Book. Whitman Publishing, LLC, 2017.
"PCGS Online - Estimating Coin Grades Has Never Been Easier." PCGS,www.pcgs.com/photograde/.