Contributor, Benzinga
October 29, 2023

The 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cent is a unique American coin series that holds value far beyond its face value. Released to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, these special edition pennies have captured the attention of coin collectors and enthusiasts alike. This article breaks down how to determine the approximate value of your 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cents and how to buy them.

2009 Penny Value TLDR

In general, 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cents are worth one cent in average condition. However, 2009 pennies graded MS66 can sell for a few dollars or more, and those in MS67 and MS67+ can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars. Some especially rare 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cents in even better condition or with mint errors could be worth even more. Read on to find out if you happen to have one of these exceptional coins.

The History of 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cents

Four versions of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Penny were minted, each showcasing a unique design on the reverse. The designs represent four different stages in the life of the 16th U.S. president. The minting period for these coins lasted throughout 2009, with each design being released in three-month intervals. Over six billion coins were struck, and the public reception was overwhelmingly positive. Their popularity as collector's items can be attributed to the significant historical and cultural significance of Abraham Lincoln, as well as the coins' unique designs.

Birth and Early Childhood in Kentucky


This design, released on Feb. 12, 2009, features a log cabin representing Lincoln's humble beginnings in a small Kentucky cabin. The design, created by Richard Masters and sculpted by Jim Licaretz, highlights the simplicity of Lincoln's early years and the foundation of his character.

Formative Years in Indiana


The second design was first circulated on May 14, 2009. It illustrates a young Lincoln reading a book while taking a break from rail-splitting. This design by Charles Vickers symbolizes the importance of education and learning in Lincoln's formative years.

Professional Life in Illinois


The third design, released on Aug. 13, 2009, shows Lincoln standing in front of the Illinois State Capitol building. Designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Don Everhart, this image represents Lincoln's professional life as a lawyer and politician in Illinois.

Presidency in Washington DC


The final design, launched on Nov. 12, 2009, features the U.S. Capitol dome under construction, symbolizing the nation's ongoing growth and development during Lincoln's presidency. The design was created by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Joseph Menna.

How to Estimate the Value of a 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cent

To get an idea of the rarity and potential value of your 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cent, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the attributes of the most valuable 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cents so that you know what to look for in your pennies. For example, multiple factors like a coin’s mint mark or its finish (satin or regular) can make a penny more rare than most, driving up its value. 
  2. Thoroughly inspect your coins to assess their condition. Often the only 2009 pennies worth selling are those in extremely good condition. Familiarize yourself with coin grading to better understand the factors that affect a coin's value.
  3. Examine your coins for mint errors or other irregularities that could increase their value. These attributes don’t include simple dents or scratches that occurred after the coin was minted. 
  4. Research the most recent sale price of a specific coin, considering the date, your best estimate of the condition, mint marks and mint errors. You may have to get your coin graded by a trusted grading service like PCGS before you could sell it for a good price. 

How to Buy and Sell 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cents

Most 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cents in average condition are not worth selling because they are rarely worth more than their face value. The rarest examples of these coins in the best conditions are likely to be bought and sold through prominent auction houses like Heritage Auctions.

Other Collectible Coins You May Be Interested In

1/4-oz Gold Canadian Polar Bear & Cub


This exquisite coin showcases a tender scene of a mother polar bear and her cub resting on a floating ice cap. Struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this 1/4-ounce gold coin is composed of 0.9999 fine gold and is a beautiful addition to any collection. American Hartford Gold, JM Bullion and APMEX are some of the most reliable precious metals dealers to purchase this coin from.

Palladium Canadian Maple Leaf Coins


This version of the classic Canadian Maple Leaf coin, minted by the Royal Canadian Mint, is minted in 0.9995 fine palladium, a precious metal similar to platinum. The coins feature the iconic Canadian maple leaf on the reverse and the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. Because of their unique composition, these coins can be an excellent choice for diversifying your precious metals portfolio. JM Bullion and APMEX are some of the most reputable dealers that offer Palladium Canadian Maple Leaf Coins.

Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coins


These gold coins, produced by the Austrian Mint, display an array of musical instruments from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on the reverse, while the obverse features the pipe organ in the Musikverein Golden Hall, the orchestra's home. Composed of 0.9999 fine gold, Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coins are highly sought after by collectors and investors. They can be acquired from trusted dealers like American Hartford Gold, JM Bullion and APMEX.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is there anything special about the 2009 penny?


Yes, there is something special about the 2009 penny. In that year, the United States Mint released four different designs on the reverse side of the penny to commemorate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. These designs feature different aspects of Lincoln’s life, including his birthplace, his formative years in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois, and his presidency in Washington, D.C. Collectors often seek out these 2009 pennies for their unique and historical significance.


Why are 2009 pennies hard to find?


2009 pennies are hard to find because there was a decrease in production that year due to the economic recession. The demand for pennies decreased, leading to fewer being minted and circulated, making them more difficult to come across.


What is the reverse of the 2009 Lincoln penny?


The reverse of the 2009 Lincoln penny features a depiction of the Lincoln Memorial.

About Henry Stater

Henry is an expert in all things crypto. He stays up to date with all the latest coins, platforms and technologies in the field. He has particular expertise in the burgeoning decentralized finance ecosystem and loves trying out all the new platforms. He also always follows major events in other financial markets and geopolitics as a whole, especially when an event’s effects ripple through the crypto market.