Penny Molecule (Toned) (2017)
Patinated USA Lincoln Shield Pennies (2017)
5.75” x 5.75” x 5.75”
The Presidential $1 Coin Act required that the cent, beginning in 2010, "shall bear an image emblematic of President Lincoln's preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country". On April 16, 2009, the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) met and recommended a design that showed 13 wheat sheaves bound together with a ring symbolizing American unity as one nation. Subsequently, this design was withdrawn because it was similar to coins issued in Germany in the 1920s. The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) also met and recommended a design showing a Union shield with ONE CENT superimposed in a scroll; E pluribus unum was also depicted in the upper portion of the shield.
In June 2009 the CFA met again and this time selected a design featuring a modern rendition of the American Flag. As a part of the release ceremony for the last of the 2009 cents on November 12, 2009, the design for the 2010 cent was announced. The design chosen by the CCAC was the Union shield. According to the Mint, the 13 stripes on the shield "represent the states joined in one compact union to support the Federal government, represented by the horizontal bar above." The new reverse was designed by artist Lyndall Bass and sculpted by US Mint sculptor-engraver Joseph Menna. The Mint re-engraved the obverse, returning to the original 1909 galvano in preparing new dies. However, the Mint did not return to striking the pieces in the higher relief of 1909—the piece has long been struck in a much lower relief than the original pieces.
In January 2010, the new coins were released early in Puerto Rico; this was prompted by a shortage of cents on the island. Cents of the new design were officially released at a ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois, on February 11, 2010.