2009 Lincoln Professional Life Penny: History & Facts About The 3rd Lincoln Bicentennial Penny Which Honors His Professional Life

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The third redesigned Lincoln penny in the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial series is being released August 13, 2009.

This Lincoln Bicentennial cent features Abraham Lincoln’s professional life in Illinois.

Here’s more about the new Lincoln penny which highlights Abraham Lincoln’s professional life…


The 2009 Professional Life Lincoln cent is a continuation of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial series.

The Lincoln Bicentennial cent series follows Lincoln from his early years in a Kentucky log cabin in the early 1800s up through his presidency, during the Civil War.


Professional Life Lincoln Penny In Circulation

While proof examples can be purchased only in proof sets the U.S. Mint is selling, uncirculated 2009 Lincoln Professional Life cents are being released in circulation and in rolls.

The U.S. Mint intends to make “millions” of the 2009 Professional Life Lincoln cents for circulation. Information on exactly how many will be released, though, is not currently available. Keep in mind that the U.S. Mint typically strikes billions (with a “B”) of Lincoln cents every year, and has been doing so on a regular basis for more than 40 years.

Because of the popularity of the Lincoln Bicentennial cents, it apparently has been difficult for some coin collectors to locate the new pennies in circulation.


Facts About The Professional Life Lincoln Cent

Wondering who designed the Professional Life Lincoln cent?

Victor David Brenner, a famous sculptor whose career in the early 1900s drew much applause, designed the profile of the 16th president that we have known on the cent since 1909. Joel Iskowitz created the design on the reverse (“tail’s side”). Don Everhart sculpted the design on the reverse.

The Lincoln Professional Life cent is being struck in both proof and uncirculated varieties.

The proof version is made from a composition of 95% copper, 5% tin and zinc, which was the original Lincoln cent metallic composition when the design was first struck in 1909. The uncirculated version is being made from the Lincoln cent’s modern composition, which is 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.


Finding The Professional Life Lincoln Cent

So, what do you do if you can’t find a Professional Life Lincoln cent in circulation? What if you can find one in circulation but still want to buy more?

The U.S. Mint is selling rolls of uncirculated Professional Life Lincoln cents beginning August 13th, 2009.

The Professional Life Lincoln cent roll set includes one roll of 50 Philadelphia-minted cents and one roll of 50 Denver-minted Lincoln cents. These sets will sell for $8.95 each (includes both rolls).

While this is considerably more expensive than the face value of the 100 coins, don’t forget that 2009 Lincoln roll sets have been very popular with collectors and investors. In fact, early in 2009, the “Birthplace” Lincoln cent rolls were selling for over $75.00 on eBay — for sets which cost only $8.95 to buy from the U.S. Mint! Prices have since eased back a bit, but the excitement over the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial cents is still fervent.

Part of the reason the Lincoln Bicentennial cent rolls are causing so much attention is that the rolls are being sold only for a limited time and there are household limits imposed on how many rolls are being sold to customers. Right now, the U.S. Mint is going to limit orders to just 5 roll sets per household.


I'm the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I'm a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I'm also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I've contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I've authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!

20 thoughts on “2009 Lincoln Professional Life Penny: History & Facts About The 3rd Lincoln Bicentennial Penny Which Honors His Professional Life

    1. Hi, Leanne —

      While these 2009 pennies were sold in collector sets from the United States Mint, the circulation versions that you’ll find in pocket change are worth the same as the next whether they are separate or collected together. If they’re worn, they’re worth face value; uncirculated specimens are worth about 5 cents and up.

      Thank you for your question!

  1. Hey Josh, I found one of those. It’s all chipped up around the rims and broken, I don’t think it is worth anything. Do you?

    1. Hi, Matt —

      If it’s chipped up, it sounds like the coin has unfortunately suffered much post-Mint damage and is thus worth face value.

      Best wishes,

          1. Josh I found a famous 1955 double die penny!!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62b0122d74284e6c8b746cc43d9d60fb753748f32b22250c490959cbbda9e77f.png
            On the sidewalk!! It’s SO CRAZY!

          2. Is this worth anything? It looks like it was struck by a quarter stamper. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a1057899c0803c6de48f4e0e109a268dc988c0cff4aacb86ea58938c792c110c.jpg

          3. Hi, Matt —

            Hmm, based on what I’m seeing in the photo this coin appears to have post-Mint damage. While the radial scratches seem to approximate the size of a quarter, it is impossible for a half dollar to get under a quarter die through mechanical means.

            This 1992 Kennedy half dollar is safe to spend if you wish — or to hang on to as a curiosity!

            Interesting find,

  2. Josh, how much do you think this buffalo nickel is worth? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/deae0438a6c4ad6adba2f83148cd3979621b5db33c9ece5270437acf0c96968f.jpg

    P.S. The date is 1926

    1. Hi, Matt —

      The value depends on its mintmark (which you’ll find under the words FIVE CENTS on the coin’s reverse), but your 1926 Buffalo nickel is worth at least 75 cents to $1 but possibly much more if it’s a 1926-D or 1926-S Buffalo nickel.

      Cool coin!

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