Coin of the Week: 1910 Lincoln Cent

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By Antoinette Rahn, Managing Editor

Whether you are most familiar with the moniker Wheaties, or Wheat Ear Lincoln cents, or simply Wheat cents, all of these names describe the U.S. Lincoln Cent, Wheat Reverse, which was issued beginning in 1909 and until 1958.

The Lincoln cent, Wheat Reverse represents a few significant aspects of the evolution of minting of coinage in the U.S. The most well-known was the inclusion, for the first time, of the profile of a historic or noteworthy individual, on a coin in circulation.

Interestingly enough the design of the Lincoln cent, which was issued in recognition of the anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, was the result of a collaboration between President Theodore Roosevelt and emigrant artist David Brenner, who happened to have great admiration for President Lincoln, according to information at PCGS.com, sponsor of the Coin of the Week post.

1910 Lincoln Cent, Wheat Reverse PCGS PR67 RD CAC. (Photo courtesy of Great Collections)

Another aspect that was new to cent coinage with the design of the Lincoln, Wheat Reverse, was the inclusion of the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. Additionally, one more aspect of the original design would result in a significant controversy and furthermore, in the presence of one of the most sought-after rarities in coinage, the 1909-S V.D.B Lincoln cent, according to information at PCGS.com.

Shortly after the first cents came out of the mint and entered circulation, there was an outcry that led to a new design. What infraction was it that disturbed many in the public? The presence of Brenner’s initials V.D.B., sizable on the reverse of the coin. With this, only 484,000 of this variation of the cent were minted at the San Francisco Mint. The initials were removed, only to be returned to the coin, albeit smaller in size, in 1918.

It’s reported that the number of Lincoln cents, with its unique history, to be issued is more than other coins in U.S. history, if not the world.

A PCGS-graded example of this storied coin is currently attracting considerable bidder attention through Great Collections. The 1910 Lincoln Cent PCGS Proof-67 RD CAC is among the lots featured in Great Collections auction that concludes April 5, 2020. View lots in this sale >>>.

About PCGS: Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) represents the industry standard in third-party certification. Visit www.pcgs.com for more information.

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