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The 2010 U.S. Penny

Learn About the 2010 One Cent Coin


2010 Penny Design

The reverse design for the U.S. Cent beginning in 2010 depicts a shield with 13 stripes representing the 13 original colonies.

United States Mint image.

The United States will begin issuing pennies with a new design on the reverse (tails side) in 2010. This design was created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Associate Designer Lyndall Bass, and sculpted by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna. It depicts a shield with thirteen vertical stripes and bearing the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. A banner across the front reads ONE CENT.

The style of the shield calls to mind an artistic style that was popular during the Civil War era, when President Lincoln preserved the splintering Union and set the United States back on the path to being healthy and whole again. The design contains symbolism that is important to Americans, including the 13 stripes to represent the 13 original colonies. The stripes support a horizontal bar bearing the motto that means "out of many, one," and which represent the federal government unifying the colonies together.

This reverse design begins appearing on pennies dated 2010, and is expected to remain in place for at least 25 years or until the One Cent coin type is abolished in the United States. Currently, there are no firm plans to do away with the penny. The obverse, or "heads" side, will remain the same as it has been since 1909, bearing the portrait of Abraham Lincoln designed by Victor David Brenner.

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