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New Lincoln Coins Hit Circulation

By Ed O'Keefe

As The Eye reported in today's Post, festivities continue nationwide to mark the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Mint has released the first of four new Lincoln pennies that will enter circulation this year.

Already 245 million new pennies have been produced at the Mint's Denver and Philadelphia facilities. Approximately 400 federal employees work at the Mint in Denver and 500 in Philadelphia. The Mint employs just under 2,000 people nationwide.

The first penny, nicknamed the "Kentucky Penny," features an image of the president's boyhood home in the Bluegrass State.

The second "Indiana Penny," featuring an image of a young Lincoln taking a break from his work as an Indiana rail splitter, will find its way into change purses on May 14. The "Illinois Penny," marking Lincoln's work as a state legislator, will start dropping into tip jars on Aug. 13. The fourth penny -- with an image of the unfinished U.S. Capitol dome, comes out on Nov. 12. The unfinished dome symbolizes the nation torn apart by the Civil War and Lincoln's resolve to bring it back together.

The Mint has also produced 500,000 commemorative Lincoln Silver Dollars. Some of the proceeds of sales go towards funding for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 16, 2009; 9:19 AM ET
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