Today, the United States Mint revealed the reverse design that will be used for the 2010 Lincoln Cent. Design candidates had been released in May 2009, but the final decision was not known until today. In addition to 2010, the new design is expected to be used for the reverse of the Lincoln Cent for the foreseeable future.
The design features a union shield with a scroll draped across bearing the denomination “One Cent”. The shield features thirteen vertical stripes and a horizontal bar with the motto “E Pluribus Unum.” This is intended to represent the thirteen original states joined in one compact union. The union shield was used during the Civil War and appears in the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building on frescoes by Constantino Brumidi, the artist at the Capitol during Lincoln’s presidency. The reverse was designed by US Mint Artistic Infusion Program Associate Designer Lyndall Bass and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
The announcement was made at today’s fourth 2009 Lincoln Cent launch ceremony held in Washington, DC and also by press release. Under Public Law 109-145, the reverse of one cent coins issued after December 31, 2009, shall feature an image “emblematic of President Lincoln’s preservation of the United States of America as a single, united country.”
The Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee had favored this design after reviewing design candidates provided by the US Mint. The Commission of Fine Arts had initially favored a design featuring a bundle of thirteen wheat stalks, but switched their recommendation to a 34 star flag after the wheat stalk design was removed from consideration.