Greetings, fellow numismatists! Today, we’re going to dive into the fascinating history of the United States 1909 S VDB Lincoln cent, a coin that has captured the hearts of collectors for over a century. And if you’re wondering why we’re tackling such a specific topic, it’s because we believe that there’s no such thing as a coin that’s too small (pun intended) to warrant our attention!
The story of the 1909 S VDB Lincoln cent begins with Victor D. Brenner, the talented artist who designed it. Brenner was a lithographer and engraver from Lithuania who immigrated to the United States in 1890. He quickly made a name for himself in the world of art, and by the early 1900s, he had established himself as one of the country’s most renowned medalists.
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt ordered the United States Mint to begin looking for a new artist to design the cent coin, which had been in circulation for over half a century. Brenner’s work caught the attention of the Mint’s chief engraver, Charles E. Barber, who was impressed with Brenner’s artistic vision and recommended him for the job. Brenner was subsequently hired to design the new cent, and he set to work creating a stunning image of President Abraham Lincoln.
Brenner’s design was based on a photograph of Lincoln taken by Mathew Brady in 1864. The image showed Lincoln facing to the right, with his signature beard and tall hat. Brenner’s version was so accurate and detailed that it was hailed as one of the greatest coin designs of all time.
The initial release of the 1909 VDB Lincoln cent caused quite a stir among collectors. The coin was highly coveted, and demand quickly outstripped supply. However, some people were critical of Brenner’s decision to include his initials on the reverse side of the coin, which they felt was an act of self-promotion.
The backlash was so severe that the Mint decided to remove Brenner’s initials from the coin later that same year. This move was meant to placate critics, but it had the unintended consequence of making the original 1909 VDB Lincoln cent even more valuable to collectors.
In 1918, the Mint once again added Brenner’s initials to the coin, this time on the obverse side, beneath Lincoln’s shoulder. The coin remained in circulation until 1958, when it was replaced by the familiar image of the Lincoln Memorial.
Today, the 1909 S VDB Lincoln cent is highly sought after by collectors. In fact, it’s considered one of the most valuable and iconic coins in American history. And it’s not hard to see why – Brenner’s stunning design captures the essence of one of America’s greatest presidents, and his initials add a touch of personality and intrigue to an already legendary coin.
So there you have it, folks – the fascinating history of the 1909 S VDB Lincoln cent. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about this iconic coin as much as we’ve enjoyed sharing our knowledge with you. And who knows – maybe one day, you’ll be lucky enough to add one to your own collection!
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