Lincoln Formative Years Cent

Appearing as the second of four new cent coins in 2009 was the Lincoln Formative Years Cent.

Mintage: 739.6 million
Authorizing Coin Law
U.S. Mint Online Site


The coin was part of a series of four new cents struck to honor the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln on the bicentennial of his birth. Each of the four coins represented a different portion in the life of Lincoln who had the unenviable task of leading the country through the American Civil War.

This particular coin covers the childhood to young adult years of Lincoln from approximately 1816 to 1830 when he lived in Indiana

New 2009 Lincoln Cents

The four 2009 Lincoln Cents issued by the US Mint are shown below in their correct release order:

  • 2009 – Lincoln Birthplace Cent
  • 2009 – Lincoln Formative Years Cent
  • 2009 – Lincoln Professional Life Cent
  • 2009 – Lincoln Presidency Cent

In 2010, the US Mint followed the above four coins with another new cent showing a Union Shield on its reverse representing Lincoln’s preservation of the Union.

Issue Information

The 2009 Formative Years Cent was the second of four new cents released by the Mint in 2009 to celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

Release Date

The US Mint issued the Lincoln Formative Years Cent on May 14, 2009 with a ceremony held near Lincoln City, Indiana – approximate location where Lincoln spent a majority of his childhood.

Issue Price

The US Mint released the Formative Years Cent into circulation through the normal Federal Reserve channels for the face value of the coin – $.01.

U.S. Mint Production Facility

Circulation quality Formative Years Cents were struck at the US Mint’s facility in Denver and the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia. Proof quality versions were struck at the US Mint’s facility in San Francisco.

Designer & Sculptor / Engraver

The obverse (heads side) portrait of Abraham Lincoln was designed by Victor David Brenner and first appeared on the cent coin in 1909.

Charles Vickers designed and sculpted the reverse (tails side) design to show a young Lincoln sitting on a log reading a book while taking a break from rail splitting.

Coin Specifications

Face Value: $0.01
Finish: Circulation (Business Strike)
Composition: 97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper
Standard Weight: 2.5 grams
Standard Diameter: 0.750 in. or 19 mm
Edge: Plain

**The US Mint also struck proof versions of the coin to the exact composition as the original 1909 Lincoln Cents – 95% copper, 3% zinc & 2% tin with a weight of 3.11 grams.

Formative Years Cent Mintage

According to the US Mint a total of 739,600,000 of the Lincoln Formative Years Cents were struck – 376,000,000 at the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia and 363,600,000 at the US Mint’s facility in Denver.

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