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In 1989 the Mint modified the design on the reverse of the Lincoln Memorial cents creating the 6th Memorial reverse design for the Memorial cent series.  In the Wexler Die Variety Files we identify this reverse as Lincoln Memorial Reverse Design #6 (LMRD-006).  CONECA identifies this Memorial reverse design as RDV-006.  LMRD-006 was used on the Lincoln Memorial cents from 1989 through 1992 where it was used on all circulation strike and all proof cents for those years.  It was also used for proof Lincoln cents struck from 1994 through 2008.

The normal reverse for the 1988 Lincoln cents was used on all circulation strike and all proof cents from 1986 through 1988.  We identify this reverse design as LMRD-005 (CONECA RDV-005).  While there are subtle differences throughout the entire reverse between the design used in 1988 (LMRD-005) and the modified design introduced in 1989 (LMRD-006), the easiest place to spot the difference is on the designer’s initials.  The new modified 1989 design has a distinct serif at the top left side of the vertical bar of the G in FG where the 1988 design does not have this serif.  On the modified 1989 design the vertical bar of the G in FG extends down below the lower right curve of the G.  It does not do that on the 1988 design.



These are the designer’s initials on the reverse of normal 1988 Lincoln cents.  Note that the top left side of the vertical bar of the G does NOT have a serif.  Also note that the vertical bar of the G does NOT extend below the lower right curve of the G.  This reverse was the intended design for all Lincoln cents struck from 1986 through 1988 and is identified in our files as LMRD-005.



Here we see the designer’s initials on the new modified reverse design on the 1989 Lincoln cents.  There is a distinct serif on the top left side of the vertical bar on the G.  Also, the vertical bar of the G extends below the lower right curve of the G.  This reverse was the intended design for all Lincoln cents struck from 1989 through 1992 and then for all proof cents struck from 1994 through 2008.

A few 1988 working dies have been identified with the modified reverse design introduced in 1989.  Either someone accidentally grabbed some reverse dies intended for the 1989 Lincoln cents and used them at the end of 1988, or they ran out of 1988 Lincoln cent reverse dies at the end of 1988 and intentionally grabbed a few dies with the 1989 reverse hoping that no one would notice.  The result was a transitional reverse design variety for the 1988 Lincoln cents that could be described as a “1988 Lincoln cent with the reverse of 1989.”

The 1988 P-Mint transitional reverse design working dies are identified as 1988 1¢ WTRD-001 through WTRD-007.  The number of affected working dies is monitored to determine the relative scarcity of the variety.  Since each circulation strike working die yields about one million coins, if no other 1988 P-Mint transitional design dies are identified, we can estimate the mintage of the 1988 P-Mint transitional design coins at about 7 million coins.  The total mintage for the 1988 P-Mint Lincoln cents was 6,092,810,000 coins.  Some quick math tells us that approximately 1 in every 870 P-Mint 1988 Lincoln cents will have the transitional reverse design making them quite scarce.

If you have any 1988 1¢ Transitional Reverse Design working dies that are not illustrated below, we would love to add them to our files.  Go to the Collector Resources page to find the guidelines for submitting coins for attribution.

In the following listings the person listed under "Submitted By" is the person who sent the coin for listing in the Wexler Die Variety Files.  It is not necessarily the person who originally discovered the variety.


1988 1¢ WTRD-001

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988 Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse Stage A:  Several die scratches extend NE above the ERTY of LIBERTY.  Two parallel die scratches runs west to east above the ERTY of LIBERTY.  Several die scratches run WSW to ENE below the ERTY of LIBERTY.  A die scratch runs west to east between the vest and the top of the 1 in the date.  Obverse Stage B:  Same as Stage A.  Reverse Stage A:  VEDS.  None significant.  Reverse Stage B:  A die crack extends from the top of the left cornice through the I of UNITED to the rim.

Submitted By:  Billy G. Crawford and upgraded by Joseph Koelling

Cross References:  CONECA Die #3









This die crack is found on Stage B specimens of 1988 1¢ WTRD-001.


1988 1¢ WTRD-002

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988 Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse Stage A:  Numerous die scratches run NW to SE between the vest and the 1 in the date.  Numerous die scratches run WSW to ENE through and around the letters of TRUST.  A strong die scratch runs west to east below the ST of TRUST.  Obverse Stage B:  Die clash marks can be found to the left of the back of the neck and to the right of the throat.  Obverse Stage C:  New obverse die.  None significant.  Reverse Stage A:  A die scratch runs NW to SE above the right base of the Memorial.  Parallel die scratches run west to east between the lower E and S of STATES.  A die scratch runs WNW to ESE between the lower 5th and 6th Memorial columns.  A die scratch extends from the lower right inside of the U of UNITED NNW to the rim.  Reverse Stage B:  A die clash mark touches the top of the Memorial roof SSE of the dot to the right of the M in UNUM.  Reverse Stage C:  The parallel die scratches running west to east between the lower E and S of STATES are still visible.  The die scratch running WNW to ESE between the lower 5th and 6th Memorial columns is still visible.  Other Stage A & B die markers are no longer visible or are very weak.

Submitted By:  Stage A: David Carten, Stage B: Wayne Perry, Stage C: Joseph Koelling

Cross References:  CONECA Die #1














1988 1¢ WTRD-003

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988 Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A die clash mark extends east from the vest ending below the 1 in the date.  Clash marks of columns can be found to the right of the throat, to the right of the lips and beard, and to the left of the back of Lincoln’s neck.  A die scratch extends WNW from the back of the bust just below the Y of LIBERTY.  Reverse:  A die clash mark extends NE from the top of the Memorial below the S of PLURIBUS.  Light clash marks can be found at the bottom of the 3rd Memorial bay and at the top of the 7th Memorial bay.  Small die gouges can be found between the tops of the N and T of CENT.  A small die gouge protrudes from the left side of the E of ONE just left of the center horizontal bar.

Submitted By:  William Slaughter

Cross References:  CONECA Die #5




















1988 1¢ WTRD-004

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988 Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse Stage A:  A die scratch runs SE from the bottom of the L in LIBERTY.  A die scratch runs from the top of the L SE to the I of LIBERTY.  A die scratch runs from the top of the R SE to the U of TRUST.  Parallel die scratches extend NW from the lower back of Lincoln’s head.  Parallel die scratches extend ESE from Lincoln’s bowtie.  Obverse Stage B:  The parallel die scratches ESE from the bowtie are still visible while other Stage A die markers have been abraded away.  A long die scratch runs from SSW to NNE through the right side of the E in LIBERTY.  A die scratch runs from SW to NE between the lower W and E of WE.  A die scratch runs NNW from the center of the nose.  Several die scratches run either NNW or NNE above the TY in LIBERTY.  Reverse Stage A:  Parallel die scratches run NNW to SSE to the right of the T of CENT and one to the left of the T of CENT.  A die scratch runs SE below the designer’s initials.  A die scratch runs east from the top of the F in OF to the 1st A in AMERICA.  A die scratch extends SW from the lower left I in AMERICA.  Several short die scratches extend WSW from the rim above the 1st A in AMERICA.  Reverse Stage B:  Same as Stage A.

Submitted By:  Stage A: Joseph Koelling, Stage B: Tanaka Davis

Cross References:  CONECA Die #4, Crawford: CTRD-003

Stage A



















Stage B












1988 1¢ WTRD-005

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988 Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A strong die scratch extends NE from the upper right Y in LIBERTY.  Die scratches running WNW to ESE and SW to NE intersect to form an X above the E of LIBERTY.  A die scratch extends NE from the top of the 1st 8 in the date.  A die scratch extends from just to the left of the bowtie NNE into the throat.  Reverse:  A short but strong die scratch extends north from the top left side of the Memorial roof.

Submitted By:  Joseph Koelling

Cross References:  CONECA Die #2










1988 1¢ WTRD-006

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988 Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse Stage A:  This is the same obverse seen on WTRD-001.  Several die scratches extend NE above the ERTY of LIBERTY.  Two parallel die scratches runs west to east above the ERTY of LIBERTY.  Several die scratches run WSW to ENE below the ERTY of LIBERTY.  A die scratch runs west to east between the vest and the top of the 1 in the date.  Obverse Stage B:  Same as Stage A.  Reverse Stage A:  A die crack extends from the top of the left cornice running to the right of the I of UNITED and out to the rim.  Reverse Stage B:  A die crack runs from the bottom right tip of the right Memorial base SE to the rim.

Submitted By:  Wayne Perry

Cross References:  CONECA: Die #6












1988 1¢ WTRD-007

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988 Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  Two die gouges can be found on the lower right bust well SW of the 1 in the date. Die pitting can be found on the bottom right corner of the bust.  Reverse:  A die gouge can be found to the right of the upper R in AMERICA. A small die gouge (dot) can be found to the right of the upper 11th Memorial column. Two short, nearly vertical die scratches can be found between the N and T of CENT.

Submitted By:  Charles D. Hudson

Cross References:  None known