The first of the newly designed 2010 Lincoln Cents featuring the “Union Shield” reverse have reached the channels of circulation. Distribution currently seems to be limited to the US Territory of Puerto Rico, but secondary market transactions on venues such as eBay have helped bring the 2010 Lincoln Penny to other locations.
The 2010 Lincoln Cent is the first year of a brand new reverse design, which is expected to be the permanent replacement for the prior Lincoln Memorial design. Following the four different reverses issued for Lincoln’s Bicentennial, a fifth design was created to represent Lincoln’s preservation of the United States as a single and united country.The obverse design continue to portray the bust of Abraham Lincoln designed by Victor D. Brenner, with some of the original details restored.
The Union Shield, which dates back to 1780’s, was widely used during the Civil War. It also appears throughout the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building on frescoes by Constantino Brumidi. Thirteen vertical stripes are bound by a single horizontal bar to represent the original thirteen states joined together in a single compact union in support of the federal government. The new reverse was designed by Lyndall Bass and engraved by Joseph Menna.
The United States Mint will host an official launch ceremony for the new Union Shield Cents on February 11, 2010 at 10:00 AM. The event will be held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Similar to launch ceremonies for the 2009 Lincoln Cent designs, a roll exchange is expected to be available where attendees can exchange currency for rolls of the new coins.