Lincoln Wheat Cents - A Historic Introduction
The Lincoln Wheat cent, designed by Victor David Brenner, was first issued in 1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. The coin's obverse features a portrait of the 16th president, while the reverse showcases two stylized wheat stalks encircling the denomination "ONE CENT" and the legend "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." The Lincoln Wheat cent was the first U.S. coin to bear a president's image, setting the stage for the future of American coin design.
Abraham Lincoln: America's Emancipator and the Lincoln Wheat Cent
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the 16th President of the United States, is remembered as a great leader who preserved the Union during the Civil War and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which led to the abolition of slavery. The Lincoln Wheat Cent honors his legacy and serves as a tribute to his dedication to the principles of liberty and equality.
Early Life and Political Career
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. Growing up in a poor family, Lincoln was largely self-educated and developed a passion for reading and learning. He became a skilled lawyer and served in the Illinois State Legislature before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1846.
Presidency and Accomplishments
Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860, at a time when the nation was deeply divided over the issue of slavery. His presidency was marked by the Civil War, and his leadership during this tumultuous period in American history was nothing short of extraordinary. Key accomplishments of Lincoln's presidency include:
- Emancipation Proclamation: Issued in 1863, this executive order declared the freedom of all slaves in the Confederate states, marking a turning point in the Civil War and the beginning of the end for slavery in America.
- Gettysburg Address: Lincoln's poignant speech at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1863, underscored the importance of preserving the Union and the principles of liberty and equality for all.
- 13th Amendment: Lincoln's advocacy for the abolition of slavery culminated in the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865, which permanently outlawed slavery in the United States.
Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865, just days after the end of the Civil War, marked the tragic loss of an extraordinary leader. His unwavering commitment to the preservation of the Union and the abolition of slavery has left an indelible mark on American history. In 1909, the United States Mint introduced the Lincoln Wheat Cent to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth. The coin features a portrait of Lincoln on the obverse and two wheat stalks on the reverse, symbolizing prosperity and growth.
Notable Wheat Cent Varieties and Key Dates
The Lincoln Wheat cent series offers collectors an array of intriguing varieties and key dates. One of the most sought-after varieties is the 1909-S VDB, featuring Brenner's initials 'VDB' on the reverse. Other key dates include the 1914-D, the 1922 Plain (No 'D'), and the 1931-S. Collectors also search for unique errors and varieties, such as doubled dies and repunched mint marks.
The Metallic Composition Shift - The Steel Wheat Cent
During World War II, in 1943, the U.S. Mint temporarily altered the Lincoln Wheat cent's composition to conserve copper for the war effort. These one-year-only steel cents, coated with zinc, are a unique and collectible part of the Lincoln Wheat cent series.
A Broad Spectrum of Wheat Cent Collecting Opportunities
The Lincoln Wheat cent offers collectors a diverse range of options to suit their tastes and collecting goals. From assembling complete sets and seeking out key dates to discovering coins with unique errors and varieties, Lincoln Wheat cents provide endless opportunities for numismatic exploration and enjoyment.
Dive into the enthralling world of Lincoln Wheat cents and uncover the designs, stories, and history that have made these coins a cornerstone of American numismatics. Whether you're an experienced collector or just starting your journey, Lincoln Wheat cents offer a rewarding collecting experience that will deepen your appreciation for the art and history of American coinage. Begin or expand your collection today and create a numismatic legacy to be treasured for generations to come.