Lincoln Pennies & Indian Head Pennies

The Different Designs of the Lincoln Penny

The Lincoln Penny was initially minted in 1909 at the U.S. Mint. The obverse design of the Lincoln penny features a profile of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The design on the reverse side of the coin has changed throughout the years. From 1909-1958, the Wheat Penny features two pieces of wheat with the words “E Pluribus Unum”, “One Cent”, and “United States of America” on the back. The reverse of the Lincoln Memorial penny features the Lincoln Memorial Monument from Washington D.C. This design was used from 1958 to 2009. In 2009 was a special as 4 different reverse designs were used to represent different stages of Lincoln’s life. Since 2010, the shield design has been used on the reverse of Lincoln Pennies. There are several pennies that are highly desirable from collectors, such as the 1933-D penny, the 1931-S penny. A more recent example are the three 2019 pennies that were produced at the West Point Mint. It is yet to be determined what these coins will be selling for in years to come. But, there are very few perfectly struck coins available. Pair this with a "First Day of Issue" designation from NGC or PCGS, and you will have a coin worth thousands of dollars today.

The History of the Indian Head Penny

By the dawn of the 1850s, fluctuations in the price of copper forced the US Mint not only to reduce the size of their pennies (Large-Cents were about the same size as a modern Half-Dollar) but to also look for compositions of metal that were not solely pure copper. Due to this need, the US Mint came up with the Flying Eagle Penny, which was produced shortly from 1856-1858. This coin differed from traditional pennies in that it was comprised of less than 90% copper. Unfortunately, these coins quickly experienced design problems and needed to be replaced. Their replacement was the Indian Head Penny, which made its first appearance on the market in 1859.