Description and Analysis

Lincoln Cents, Wheat Reverse
1909 S VDB 1C MS

Description & Analysis

For generations of American coin collectors, this issue has been the coin highest on their want lists. It has the lowest mintage of any Lincoln Cent issued for circulation, and examples were rarely found in change.

Had this low figure occurred a few years into the series instead of at the very beginning, examples would be truly rare in Mint State. As it is, many were saved at the time of issue because of the controversial initials V.D.B. The public assumed, incorrectly, that this variety would be withdrawn. The narrow spread over so many grades confirms that there is little difference in rarity below the gem level.

Whatever the facts, the appeal of this issue is undeniable, and no collection of Lincoln Cents is complete without it. Four obverse dies are known from their variable mintmark positions, and knowledge of these dies is key to authenticating this often counterfeited or altered issue.

Note: This coin is commonly targeted by counterfeiters. Learn more here.