1909 Lincoln V.D.B. Wheat Ears Cent

Struck for only part of the year, the 1909 Lincoln V.D.B. Wheat Ears Cent has grown to become one of the most popular and sought after coins in the history of US coinage.

Mintage: 27,995,000 Minted in Philadelphia – 484,000 Minted in San Francisco
U.S. Mint Online Site

These strikes were actually the first released of what would become a fifty-year run for the Lincoln Wheat Ears Cent. However, what makes these coins unique is the fact that the artists initials are found on the bottom of the reverse design – V.D.B. for Victor David Brenner.

Brenner completed the designs for the new 1909 cent which featured a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse. Not uncommon for coinage, he placed his initials on the reverse. Unfortunately, the inclusion of his initials led to some controversy both within the Mint itself as well as in the general public. Consequently, the Mint removed the initials from the design partway through the year.

That change resulted in collectors scrambling to obtain the V.D.B. included versions. Fortunately, a fair amount of the Philadelphia Mint 1909 V.D.B. coins were struck – 27,995,000. However, far fewer of them were struck in San Francisco resulting in only 484,000 of the 1909-S V.D.B. cent coins.

History of Lincoln Cent Designs

Since 1909, the Lincoln Cent has appeared with several different designs. Those are shown below:

  • 1909-1958 Lincoln Wheat Ears Cent
  • 1959-2008 Lincoln Memorial Cent
  • 2009 – Lincoln Birthplace Cent
  • 2009 – Lincoln Formative Years Cent
  • 2009 – Lincoln Professional Life Cent
  • 2009 – Lincoln Presidency Cent
  • 2010-? – Lincoln Union Shield Cent

The Union Shield Cent design is set to run indefinitely. It may be changed at the discretion of the Treasury Secretary after it has been struck for 25 years, or Congress may change it at any time through new legislation.

Issue Information

The 1909 Lincoln V.D.B. Wheat Ears Cent has come to be one of the most popular coins among collectors owing to its lore and rarity.

Release Date

The US Mine released the V.D.B. initialed coins for a portion of 1909.

Issue Price

As a circulating coin, the US Mint released the V.D.B. Lincoln Cent for $.01.

U.S. Mint Production Facility

The 1909 Lincoln V.D.B. cents were struck in Philadelphia and in San Francisco

Designer & Sculptor / Engraver

Victor David Brenner designed both the obverse (heads side) and reverse (tails side) of the Lincoln Wheat Ears Cent. The obverse contains a portrait of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It marked the first time a real individual had been used on a circulating coin of the United States. It also served as the inaugural year for the Lincoln Cent which has been seen in one version or another for over 100 years.

The reverse contains an image of two ears of wheat flanking the inscriptions "ONE CENT" and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." Making this specific strike unique is the fact that the artists initials "V.D.B." are found near the bottom rim of the design.


Face Value: $0.01
Finish: Circulation (Business Strike)
Composition: 950 copper, .050 tin and zinc
Standard Weight: 3.11 grams
Standard Diameter: 0.750 in. or 19 mm
Edge: Plain

Related Products