New Penny Shows Lincoln Reelin' in the Years

New cents still feature Lincoln's mug, but tails represent life stages.

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Get your penny loafers out. The U.S. Mint rolled out four new designs for the penny yesterday, in honor of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth (and the 100th anniversary of the production of the Lincoln cent).

Heads will still feature Lincoln's mug, but the tails side will capture four stages of Lincoln's life. The new coins will be issued in roughly three-month intervals throughout the year. The first, which will be put into circulation on Feb. 12, 2009, will represent Lincoln's birth and early childhood in Kentucky. The others will feature his formative years in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois, and his presidency. You can see the full lineup here.

The Los Angeles Times argues that it makes more sense to get rid of the penny than to redesign it, given that the cent can cost more than a cent to make. In other words, it has outlived its usefulness.

Do you agree?