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The first Lincoln Penny was struck by the U.S. Mint in 1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. It was the first circulating coin to feature a real person instead of the allegorical Lady Liberty. The coin offered here is the scarce “VDB” type that was issued for only a few days before the design was changed. It is the scarcest design type in the nearly 100-year history of the Lincoln Penny.

The obverse of the Lincoln Penny features a remarkable portrait of Lincoln by sculptor Victor D. Brenner. President Theodore Roosevelt personally commissioned Brenner to create the portrait for the coin. The reverse features the classic “wheat ears” design that disappeared from the Lincoln Penny in 1958.

The first coins in 1909 feature Brenner’s bold “VDB” initials at the bottom of the reverse. Only the first few coins in 1909 have the initials. When the coins entered circulation, some influential people objected to Brenner “advertising” his work with his prominent initials – and three days later, Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh halted production and the initials were removed from all future coins.

The number of 1909 “VDB” Lincoln Pennies minted was very small. The coin was issued late in 1909, following the last of the Indian Head Pennies that were also made in 1909 – and only about 28% of the first-year 1909 Lincoln Pennies are the “VDB” variety.

What’s more, the 1909 “VDB” Lincoln Penny is about 80-100 times rarer than a modern Lincoln Penny. But most of the original 1909 “VDB” Lincoln Pennies were used in circulation and just a fraction remain today. They disappeared from circulation generations ago, and the few remaining coins are now safely in the hands of collectors and dealers.

Today, the Lincoln Penny has been struck continuously for nearly 100 years. It is the longest-running coin in U.S. history. Millions of collectors eagerly collect the Lincoln Pennies – and this is the most sought-after coin of all, both for its first-year status and its rarity as a coin design type.

The coin in this collection is carefully hand-selected for exceptional collector quality and is displayed in a custom presentation with a Certificate of Authenticity.

SKU: 2F02
Weight: 1.00
Price: $129.00


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