The United States Mint will be redesigning the Lincoln cent or penny in honor of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth next year. The image I’ve provided are the four finalists from over 35 designs which had been proposed.
The reverse (i.e. the back) of the penny will depict Lincoln’s humble beginnings as opposed to his presidency. That’s an unusual approach, but one which is highly appropriate, considering that Lincoln had the humblest of beginnings in life. The image on the upper left depicts Lincoln as a student in either a classroom or studying on his own. The image on the upper right shows Abe as an Illinois state legislator. Finally, the two images on the bottom show different variations of the log cabin in which he was born.
For my money (no pun intended), I like the legislator design and either of the log cabin designs. the obverse (i.e. the front) of the penny will not be changed. I’m not sure if this redesign of the reverse will be permanent or not.
Here’s a link to Numismater.com (a coin collector website) which discusses the images in more detail, plus also shows 35+ other designs which had been considered.