On November 12, 2009, the United States Mint unveiled the new reverse design for the 2010 Lincoln Cent and beyond. The unveiling was part of the launch ceremony for the final reverse design for the 2009 Lincoln Cent, representing Lincoln’s Presidency. The ceremony was held at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial at the Capitol Building in Washington DC.
The new reverse design features the Union Shield with a scroll draped across bearing the denomination “ONE CENT.” The shield consists of thirteen vertical stripes, joined by a single horizontal bar at the top with the inscription “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” The additional inscription “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” appears above. This design was chosen to represent Lincoln’s preservation of the United States as a single and united country. It was designed by US Mint Artistic Infusion Program Associate Designer Lyndall Bass and engraved by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.
The Union Shield dates back to the 1780s and was used widely during the civil war. It represents the thirteen original states joined in a single compact union in support of the federal government. The Union Shield appears throughout the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building on frescoes by Constantino Brumidi, the building’s artist during Lincoln’s Presidency.
The new reverse design will be paired with the portrait of Lincoln designed by Victor D. Brenner with original details retored. The new designs will be used starting with the 2010 Lincoln Penny and will continue to be used into the foreseeable future.
The 2010 Lincoln Cent design selection was made by the United States Secretary of the Treasury after review and input from the United States Mint, Commission of Fine Arts, and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.