Posted on July 14, 2011 by

Lincoln comparison

The Lincoln Cent is now over one hundred years old.  In 1909, Victor David Brenner’s immortal image of Abraham Lincoln was placed on a new one cent piece and has since been placed on billions more.  However, Brenner’s image is not so immortal after all.  Over the years, mint engravers have tweaked the image of Lincoln such that it no longer matches Brenner’s vision.  Check out the images above.  The one on the left is from a 1909 Cent and shows Brenner’s image in all its original glory.  The image on the right is from a recent Cent and shows the Mint’s modern vision of what Lincoln should look like.  Seems like a big difference.  What do you think?  Which do you prefer?

To their credit, the Mint modified Lincoln’s image in 2011 in an attempt to bring it closer to the 1909 version.  Here’s how it turned out:

2011 cent

Filed Under: News

Comments (4)


  1. Arthur Haule says:

    I much prefer the original image of our sixteenth President. The newer image is much too stark. One girl I have spoken to about it says it looks “scary.” I tend to agree.

  2. Denis Watson says:

    I went back and studied some photographs of President Lincoln and found pictures that represent both the 1909 and 2011 penny. The difference is that the 2011 is a photo of President Lincoln during the ravages of war where the 1909 is a younger man. I prefer the 1909 version myself.

  3. Denis Watson says:

    To be more specific, the 1909 penny looks like the Abraham Lincoln portrait by William Willard and the 2011 portrait by Bradley Schmehl.

  4. Adam says:

    The original has nice kindness around the eyes… beautiful… the newer image has a mouth that is distorted and weird… they question is WHY? Why was it changed? And if they had said they were going to change it, people would have protested.

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