Abraham Lincoln's new rear end

Filed under: Work Life, Media

In 1909, the United States Mint introduced a new design for the one cent coin to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of our nation's greatest presidents. The front -- the obverse -- featured an image of Lincoln while the reverse depicted two sheaves of wheat, one on either side of the words "ONE CENT". In 1959, to honor Lincoln's 150th birthday, the reverse was changed to the image of the Lincoln memorial that we are familiar with today.

A little over a year from now, Lincoln's backside will change once again, to commemorate his 200th birthday. There will be four different designs, each depicting a different aspect of Lincoln's life. The images, while not finalized, will likely include a log cabin, Lincoln reading a book, and Lincoln on the floor of the Illinois legislature.

So what's the big deal? Putting coins into circulation with different designs encourages kids to start collecting them. They check their change, trade with friends, and, perhaps most importantly, learn about the coins and the people, places, and events shown on them. Coin collecting is a wonderful hobby that can keep kids out of trouble while giving them an understanding of history they couldn't get any other way.

With the introduction of new designs on the one cent piece, even the youngest of children have something to look for that they can afford to collect. Numismatics doesn't have to mean coins that are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars -- the excitement of finding a special coin in one's change can soon be had for one cent.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.