VarietyPlus » Lincoln Cents (1909 to date)

Lincoln Cents (1909 to date)

The centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth was marked by placing his portrait on the cent. For the reverse, sculptor Victor D. Brenner chose a heraldic arrangement of two wheat heads to frame the statutory legends. While the first model featured his name spelled in full, the cent as issued displayed just the three letters “V.D.B.” Even this was provocative to the press and public, and the letters were quickly removed, only to be relocated to a less conspicuous position in 1918.

This long series has undergone several compositional changes: The 1% tin of its original bronze alloy was removed in 1942, 1944-46 and 1962-82. The cents of 1943 were coined on steel planchets plated with zinc, a disastrous failure. From mid-1982 to date all cents have been of brass-plated zinc.

On its golden anniversary, the Lincoln Cent received a new reverse featuring the Lincoln Memorial building. This was prepared by Frank Gasparro, and it was continued through 2008. For the Lincoln bicentennial in 2009 the U. S. Mint issued four commemorative reverses depicting different stages in the great man’s life. Starting 2010, the reverse design has been a Union shield adapted from pattern cents and nickels coined in 1896.

Certainly among the most widely collected series in American numismatics, the Lincoln Cent has been the entry point for several generations of hobbyists. There are a few key dates, 1909-S with and without initials, 1914-D and 1931-S, which are considered rare, especially given the broad interest in the series.

Variety collecting is likewise extremely popular with this coin type, and it is practiced both in conjunction with and exclusive of date/mint collecting. There are literally too many minor varieties for any one book to catalog, but the most desirable are included within VarietyPlus. The big varieties include prominent doubled-die obverses for 1917, 1936, 1955, 1958, 1972 and 1984, as well as many lesser ones. Also popular are repunched mintmarks, of which this series has many.

NGC will attribute the Lincoln Cent varieties listed below. Those included within The Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties are labeled with Fivaz/Stanton (FS) numbers, while additional varieties employ NGC’s VarietyPlus (VP) numbers. A further selection of varieties may be found within the books listed under References and will be of interest to the specialist.

Denom.MS/PFDateFee*NGC LabelVarietyPlusCONECAFivaz-Stanton (NEW)Fivaz-Stanton (OLD)VAM
1CMS1909 VDB -      
1CMS1909 VDB DDO$15FS-1101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-012 
1CMS1909 S VDB -      
1CMS1909 LINCOLN-      
1CMS1909 S/S LINCOLN$15FS-1501 VP-002RPM-001 FS-012.2 
1CMS1909 S/HOR S LINCOLN$15 VP-001RPM-002FS-1502FS-012.3 
1CMS1910 S/S$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001   
1CMS1910 S/S$15FS-502 VP-002RPM-002 FS-012.7 
1CMS1911 D/D$15FS-501  RPM-001 FS-012.8 
1CMS1911 D/D$15FS-502  RPM-002 FS-012.81 
1CMS1911 D/D$15FS-503  RPM-003 FS-012.82 
1CMS1911 D/D/D$15FS-504 VP-001RPM-004 FS-012.83 
1CMS1911 S/S$15FS-501      
1CMS1917 DOUBLED DIE OBV$15 VP-001DDO-001FS-101FS-013 
1CMS1922 D WEAK D-      
1CMS1922 NO D-STRONG REVERSE   FS-401FS-013.2 
1CMS1925 S/S$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-013.31 
1CMS1925 S/S$15VP-002  RPM-003   
1CMS1927 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-013.5 
1CMS1927 D/D$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-013.51 
1CMS1928 S SMALL S$15      
1CMS1928 S LARGE S$15   FS-501FS-013.6 
1CMS1929 S/S$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-013.65 
1CMS1930 D/D$15FS-502  RPM-002 FS-013.7 
1CMS1930 S/S$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-013.73 
1CMS1934 $15FS-101      
1CMS1934 D/D/D/D$15FS-503 VP-002RPM-003 FS-013.81 
1CMS1934 D/D$15FS-504 VP-001RPM-004 FS-013.8 
1CMS1935 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-013.9 
1CMS1936 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-014 
1CMS1936 DDO$15FS-102 VP-002DDO-002 FS-015 
1CMS1936 DDO$15FS-103 VP-003DDO-003 FS-016 
1CMS1937 D/D$15VP-001  RPM-001   
1CMS1938 D/D$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-016.4 
1CMS1938 S/S$15FS-501 VP-002RPM-001 FS-016.51 
1CMS1938 S/S/S$15FS-502 VP-001RPM-002 FS-016.5 
1CMS1939 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-017 
1CMS1940 D/D$15VP-001  RPM-002   
1CMS1940 S/S$15VP-001  RPM-007   
1CMS1941 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-018 
1CMS1941 DDO$15FS-102 VP-002DDO-002 FS-018.1 
1CMS1941 DDO$15FS-103 VP-003DDO-005 FS-018.3 
1CMS1941 S SMALL S$15      
1CMS1941 S LARGE S$15      
1CMS1941 S/S LARGE S$15VP-001  RPM-007   
1CMS1942 DDO$15FS-102 VP-001DDO-004 FS-018.7 
1CMS1942 DDO$15FS-103 VP-002DDO-006 FS-018.9 
1CMS1942 D/D$15FS-502 VP-001RPM-002 FS-018.91 
1CMS1942 D/D$15FS-504 VP-002RPM-004 FS-018.92 
1CMS1942 S/S DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001, RPM-001 FS-018.94 
1CMS1942 S/S/S$15FS-512  RPM-012 FS-018.93 
1CMS1943 DDO$15FS-101  DDO-001 FS-018.97 
1CMS1943 BRONZE-      
1CMS1943 D/D$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-019 
1CMS1943 D/D$15FS-513  RPM-013 FS-019.1 
1CMS1943 D BRONZE-      
1CMS1943 S DDO$15FS-101  DDO-001 FS-019.5 
1CMS1943 S BRONZE-      
1CMS1944 STEEL-      
1CMS1944 D/D$15FS-502 VP-003RPM-002 FS-021.1 
1CMS1944 D/D$15FS-507 VP-004RPM-007 FS-021.11 
1CMS1944 D/D$15VP-005  RPM-010   
1CMS1944 D/S$15FS-511 VP-001OMM-001  FS-020 
1CMS1944 D/S$15FS-512 VP-002OMM-002 FS-021 
1CMS1944 D STEEL-      
1CMS1944 S STEEL-      
1CMS1945 S/S$15VP-001  RPM-005   
1CMS1946 D/D$15VP-001  RPM-004   
1CMS1946 S/D$15FS-511  OMM-001 FS-021.2 
1CMS1947 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-021.3 
1CMS1949 D/D/D$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-021.33 
1CMS1949 S/S$15VP-001  RPM-001   
1CMS1950 S/S$15FS-504 VP-001RPM-004 FS-021.34 
1CMS1951 D DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-021.4 
1CMS1951 D/S$15FS-511  OMM-001 FS-021.5 
1CMS1951 D/S$15FS-512  OMM-002 FS-021.52 
1CMS1952 D/S$15FS-511  OMM-1   
1CMS1953 D/D$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-021.73 
1CMS1953 S/S$15VP-001  RPM-002   
1CMS1953 S/S$15VP-002  RPM-004   
1CMS1954 D/D/D$15FS-501 EDS VP-001RPM-001 FS-021.76 
1CMS1954 D/D$15FS-501 LDS      
1CMS1954 S/S$15VP-001  RPM-002   
1CMS1955 DOUBLED DIE OBV-  DDO-001FS-101FS-021.8 
1CMS1955 DDO$15FS-102 VP-002DDO-002 FS-021.9 
1CMS1955 D DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-021.93 
1CMS1955 D/D$15FS-503 VP-002RPM-003 FS-021.94 
1CMS1955 D/D$15VP-003  RPM-002   
1CMS1955 D/D$15VP-004  RPM-004   
1CMS1955 S/S/S$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-021.97 
1CMS1956 D/D$15FS-501 VP-002RPM-001 FS-022.1 
1CMS1956 D/D$15FS-508 VP-001RPM-008  FS-022 
1CMS1956 D/D$15VP-003  RPM-003   
1CMS1957 D/D/D$15VP-001  RPM-002   
1CMS1958 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-022.15 
1CMS1958 D/D/D$15VP-001  RPM-001   
1CMS1959 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-022.2 
1CMS1959 DDO$15FS-104 VP-002DDO-004 FS-022.3 
1CMS1959 D/D/D$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-022.5 
1CMS1960 SMALL DATE-      
1CMS1960 LARGE DATE-      
1CMS1960 D SMALL DATE-      
1CMS1960 D LARGE DATE-      
1CMS1960 D/D SM/LG DATE$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001, RPM-100 FS-025.5 
1CMS1960 D/D LARGE DATE$15VP-002  RPM-001   
1CMS1960 D/D LARGE DATE$15VP-003  RPM-023   
1CMS1960 D/D LARGE DATE$15VP-004  RPM-013   
1CMS1960 D/D LARGE DATE$15VP-005  RPM-054   
1CMS1960 D/D LARGE DATE$15VP-006  RPM-019   
1CMS1960 D/D LARGE DATE$15VP-007  RPM-007   
1CMS1960 D/D LARGE DATE$15VP-008  RPM-049   
1CMS1960 D/D LARGE DATE$15VP-009  RPM-005   
1CMS1960 D/D LARGE DATE$15VP-010  RPM-016   
1CMS1961 D/HORIZ D$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001   
1CMS1963 D DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-025.8 
1CMS1964 DDR$15FS-801 VP-001DDR-001 FS-026 
1CMS1964 DDR$15FS-802 VP-002DDR-020 FS-027 
1CMS1968 D/D$15FS-501 VP-002RPM-001 FS-027.3 
1CMS1968 D DDR$15FS-801 VP-001DDR-001 FS-027.4 
1CMS1969 S$15DOUBLED DIE OBV VP-001DDO-001FS-101FS-028 
1CMS1970 S SMALL DATE-      
1CMS1970 S LARGE DATE-      
1CMS1970 S DDO LARGE DATE$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-029 
1CMS1970 S/S LARGE DATE$15VP-002  RPM-1   
1CMS1971 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-031 
1CMS1971 DDO$15VP-002  DDO-002   
1CMS1971 DDO$15VP-003  DDO-003   
1CMS1972 DOUBLED DIE OBV- VP-001DDO-001FS-101FS-033.3 
1CMS1972 DDO$15FS-102 VP-002DDO-002 FS-033.52 
1CMS1972 DDO$15FS-103 VP-003DDO-003 FS-033.53 
1CMS1972 DDO$15FS-104 VP-004DDO-004 FS-033.54 
1CMS1972 DDO$15FS-105 VP-005DDO-005 FS-033.55 
1CMS1972 DDO$15FS-106 VP-006DDO-006 FS-033.56 
1CMS1972 DDO$15FS-107 VP-007DDO-007 FS-033.57 
1CMS1972 DDO$15FS-108 VP-008DDO-008 FS-033.58 
1CMS1972 DDO$15FS-109     VAM-1F
1CMS1972 DDO$15FS-109  DDO-009 FS-033.59 
1CMS1972 D DDO$15VP-001  DDO-001   
1CMS1980 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-034 
1CMS1982 LG DT BRONZE-      
1CMS1982 LG DT BRONZE DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-002 FS-034.5 
1CMS1982 SM DT BRONZE-      
1CMS1982 D LG DT BRONZE-      
1CMS1982 LG DT ZINC-      
1CMS1982 SM DT ZINC-      
1CMS1982 SM DT ZINC DDR$15FS-1801 VP-002DDR-002 FS-035 
1CMS1982 D LG DT ZINC-      
1CMS1982 D SM DT ZINC-      
1CMS1983 DDO$15FS-101 VP-002DDO-001 FS-035 
1CMS1983 DDO$15FS-102 VP-003DDO-002 FS-035.1 
1CMS1983 DDO$15FS-103 VP-004DDO-003 FS-035.2 
1CMS1983 DOUBLED DIE REV- VP-001DDR-001FS-801FS-036 
1CMS1984 DOUBLED DIE OBV- VP-001DDO-001FS-101FS-037 
1CMS1984 DDO$15FS-102 VP-002DDO-002 FS-038 
1CMS1984 D DDO$15FS-101  DDO-001 FS-039 
1CMS1992 CLOSE "AM"-      
1CMS1992 D CLOSE "AM"-   FS-901  
1CMS1994 DDR$15FS-801 VP-001DDR-001 FS-039.9 
1CMS1995 DOUBLED DIE OBV- VP-001DDO-001FS-101FS-040 
1CMS1995 D DDO$15FS-103 VP-001DDO-003 FS-041 
1CMS1997 DOUBLED EAR$15FS-101   FS-101  
1CMS1998 WIDE "AM"-   FS-901  
1CMS1999 WIDE "AM"-   FS-901  
1CMS2000 WIDE "AM"-   FS-901  
1CPF1951 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-021.35 
1CPF1953 DDO$15FS-101  DDO-001 FS-021.7 
1CPF1960 SMALL DATE-      
1CPF1960 DDO SM/LG DATE$15FS-102 VP-001DDO-002 FS-024 
1CPF1960 LARGE DATE-      
1CPF1960 DDO LG/SM DATE$15FS-101 VP-002DDO-001 FS-025 
1CPF1960 TDO LG/SM DATE$15FS-103 VP-003TDO-003 FS-023 
1CSP1964 -      
1CPF1968 S DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-005 FS-027.5 
1CPF1970 S SMALL DATE-      
1CPF1970 S DDO SMALL DATE$15VP-004  DDO-012   
1CPF1970 S LARGE DATE-      
1CPF1970 S DDO LG/SM DATE$15FS-102 VP-001DDO-003 FS-030 
1CPF1970 S TDO LARGE DATE$15FS-107 VP-002TDO-007 FS-030.4 
1CPF1970 S DDO LARGE DATE$15FS-113 VP-003DDO-013 FS-030.6 
1CPF1971 S DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-032 
1CPF1971 S DDO$15FS-102 VP-002DDO-002 FS-033 
1CPF1971 S DDO$15FS-103 VP-003DDO-004 FS-033.1 
1CPF1972 S DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-033.7 
1CPF1979 S TYPE 1-      
1CPF1979 S TYPE 2-      
1CPF1981 S TYPE 1-      
1CPF1981 S TYPE 2-      
1CPF1990 NO S-   FS-101  
1CPF1998 S CLOSE "AM"$15      
1CPF1999 S CLOSE "AM"$15   FS-901  

* In order to have the above varieties requiring the $15 fee designated by NGC, VarietyPlus service must be requested at time of grading. VarietyPlus service is also available for coins already encapsulated by NGC. For coins where the fee column is blank, no VarietyPlus charge is required to have your coin designated during grading. For coins marked $15, a $15 surcharge applies to the tier fee during grading, or a $15 fee applies to have the VarietyPlus designation added to any coin already graded and encapsulated by NGC.
Bowers, Q. David. A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents. Whitman Publishing, Atlanta, 2008
Breen, Walter. Walter Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins. Doubleday/FCI Press, New York, 1988
Daughtrey, Charles D. Looking Through Lincoln Cents: Chronology of a Series. author, Springfield, MO, 2004
Fivaz, Bill & J.T. Stanton. The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties, 5th Edition, Volume 1. Whitman Publishing, Atlanta, 2009
Lange, David W. The Complete Guide to Lincoln Cents. Bowers & Merena Galleries, Wolfeboro, NH, 1996
Wexler, John & Kevin Flynn. The Authoritative Reference on Lincoln Cents. KCK Press, Rancocas, 1996
Wexler, John A. The Lincoln Cent Doubled Die. Published by the author, 1984
Wiles, James, Ph.D. The RPM Book Second Edition: Lincoln Cents. Stanton Publishing, Savannah, GA, 1997