Jaime Hernandez: The 2010 Shield Lincoln cents were scheduled to be released on February 11, 2010. Nonetheless, many of the coins managed to escape the Mint much earlier. At PCGS, we received numerous coins before the scheduled release date. In fact, we started receiving the coins in December of 2009.
The new 2010 Shield Cent design was first unveiled to the public on November 12, 2009. The U.S. Mint presented the new Shield design in a ceremony which took place at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial in Washington D.C. The new 2010 Shield Cents will continue to portray the same obverse Lincoln cent design utilized since 1909. However, the reverse design will no longer display the Lincoln Cent themes employed in 2009 on the reverse, and instead, it will now depict the shield reverse design for years to come.
In the past, the Shield reverse design has been used in several U.S. coin designs. The 13 stripes in the Shield design represent the original 13 states within the Union. The Shield has the words E PLURIBUS UNUM inscribed towards top of the Shield, which represents the Union. Above the shield design it displays a scroll with the words ONE CENT, and the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are elegantly arched above the shield.
The new 2010 Shield Cents were scheduled to be released at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois on February 11, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. (CT). Children under 18 years of age received a free 2010 Shield Cent, while the public was allowed to exchange two to six rolls at face value. As of 2010, there are no plans to replace the 2010 Shield reverse design and it should continue being displayed on the coins as long as the Lincoln cents are being produced.
Two Roll Sets: For unknown reasons, the 2010 Shield Cent Rolls were not offered by the Mint until April 8, 2010. This was almost two months after the coin were officially released. Each 2010 Lincoln cent set of rolls contained 50 Philadelphia cents, with the second roll containing 50 Denver struck cents. The price for the two rolls as a set was priced at $8.95 each.