Here’s my two cents: I started collecting “Lincoln cents” while doing touristy stuff with my cousins and wife at Fisherman’s Wharf. I purchased a “penny collection travel album”.
First and foremost the term penny is inaccurate, a throw back to Britain. It is a “Lincoln cent”. Here are 10 things I noticed collecting Lincoln cents:
1. The initials of the artist, VDB, are on the base of the bust on most coins.
2. Things change, 6 different designs on the reverse.
3. All coins that are shiny are not new.
4. All coins that are tarnished are not old.
5. Coins have mintmarks with D indicating they were minted in Denver, no mintmark indicating that they were minted in Philadelphia, or from 1968 – 1974 S mintmark indicating they were minted in San Francisco.
6. Now I want pennies for change.
7. Wheaties are not just a cereal, it’s the nickname for the Lincoln cent minted from 1909 through 1958 with two wheat ears on the reverse.
8. It was introduced in 1909 on the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Lincoln who of course graces the front.
9. It is the first U.S. coin to have an actual person on it and the first to bear the motto “In God we Trust”.
10. My oldest coin is a wheatie from 1917, please check your coins and let me know if you have a wheatie to pass on.