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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-D 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-D Lincoln cents that could be described as a “1988-D Lincoln cent with the reverse of 1989.”

The 1988-D transitional reverse design working dies are identified as 1988-D 1¢ WTRD-001 through WTRD-011.  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-D transitional design dies are identified, we can estimate the mintage of the 1988-D transitional design coins at about 11 million coins.  The total mintage for the 1988-D Lincoln cents was 5,253,740,443 coins.  Some quick math tells us that approximately 1 in every 478 1988-D Lincoln cents will have the transitional reverse design making them quite scarce, but a little easier to find than their P-Mint counterparts.

If you have any 1988-D 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-D 1¢ WTRD-001

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A small die gouge (dot) can be found southwest of the I of IN.  Reverse:  A small die gouge can be found between the bottoms of the S and T of STATES.  Three parallel die scratches can be found between the A and T of STATES.

Submitted By:  Steven Bingham

Cross References:  Crawford: CTRD-007, CONECA: Die #1








1988-D 1¢ WTRD-002

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A small die gouge (dot) can be found between the I and N of IN.  A vertical die scratch can be found to the left of the lower back of the head.  Reverse:  A small die gouge can be found to the left of the top of the N in UNITED.  A die gouge can be found near the rim below the left vertical leg of the N in ONE.  A small die gouge (dot) can be found to the left of the top of the F in the designer’s initials.

Submitted By:  Joseph Koelling

Cross References:  Crawford: CTRD-001










1988-D 1¢ WTRD-003

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A die scratch connects the bottoms of the R and T in LIBERTY.  A vertical die scratch can be found to the right of the top of the S in TRUST.  A die scratch extends east from the lower right mint mark to the rim.  A die scratch extends east from the upper neck just under the chin.  Reverse:  No reliable die markers could be found on the reverse.

Submitted By:  Joseph Koelling

Cross References:  Crawford: CTRD-002








1988-D 1¢ WTRD-004

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A die scratch runs SSW from the rim above the right side of the D in GOD.  A die scratch runs north to the rim from the top right U of TRUST.  Two parallel die scratches run south from the rim to the right of the 2nd T in TRUST.  A short die scratch extends east from the upper lip.  Reverse:  No reliable die markers could be found on the reverse.

Submitted By:  Joseph Koelling

Cross References:  Crawford: CTRD-003










1988-D 1¢ WTRD-005

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A short, vertical die scratch can be found above the left side of the W in WE.  A short die scratch runs from NW to SE below the 2nd 8 in 1988.  Reverse:  Two small die gouges can be found In the bottom inside of the N in ONE.  A small die gouge can be found above the bottom left end of the 1st S in STATES.

Submitted By:  Joseph Koelling

Cross References:  Crawford: CTRD-004








1988-D 1¢ WTRD-006

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  The mint mark is well centered between the 9 and the 1st 8.  Reverse:  A short die gouge runs SSW from the bottom right 1st U in UNUM.  A short die scratch runs from WSW to ENE on the right Memorial base south of the last Memorial column.

Submitted By:  Joseph Koelling

Cross References:  Crawford: CTRD-006








1988-D 1¢ WTRD-007

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A die scratch runs from WSW to ENE above the Y in LIBERTY.  Two short, not quite parallel die scratches can be found on the lower front of the bust WSW of the mint mark.  A die scratch runs WSW from the back of the head to the left of the top of the ear.  Reverse:  A die scratch runs from the upper right N to the upper left T in CENT.

Submitted By:  Billy G. Crawford

Cross References:  Crawford CTRD-005












1988-D 1¢ WTRD-008

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A die scratch runs from SSW from the bottom left of the B in LIBERTY.  Two parallel die scratches run NNE from the bottom of the L in LIBERTY.  A short die scratch runs north from the top left of the N of IN.  A short, vertical die scratch can be found to the right of the top of the O in GOD.  A short die scratch runs NNW from the front of the vest SW of the 1 in the date.  Reverse:  A die scratch runs from SSE to NNW above the F in OF.  A short, nearly vertical die scratch can be found above the M in AMERICA.  A small die gouge (dot) can be found inside the lower E of CENT.  A short, vertical die scratch can be found between the lower N and E of ONE.

Submitted By:  Wayne Perry

Cross References:  None known




















1988-D 1¢ WTRD-009

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A die gouge can be found on the front edge of the vest WSW of the one in the date.  A short, nearly vertical die gouge can be found on the bottom of the bust north of the V in the designer’s initials.  A die gouge can be found to the left of the lower I of IN.  A die gouge can be found inside the O of GOD.  Two die gouges can be found between the bottoms of the T and R in TRUST.  A die scratch runs from north to south to the right of the lower nose and the lips.  Reverse:  A short die gouge runs from SSW to NNE to the right of the bottom of the 2nd A in AMERICA.

Submitted By:  Bill Haase

Cross References:  Crawford: CTRD-008
















1988-D 1¢ WTRD-010

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A light die crack runs north from the top of the head to the bottom right of the W in WE.  Reverse:  A die scratch runs from the top left of the T in UNITED to the rim.  A die gouge can be found at the top right of the 1st T in STATES.

Submitted By:  Joseph Koelling

Cross References:  Crawford: CTRD-009










1988-D 1¢ WTRD-011

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A die gouge can be found below the right side of the B in LIBERTY.  Reverse:  A die scratch runs WSW from the lower 1st T in STATES.  Parallel die scratches run WSW from the lower A in STATES.

Submitted By:  Stephen V. Goley

Cross References:  None known

Values:  XF = $50,  AU = $75,  MS60 = $150,  MS63 = $200,  MS65RD = $250








1988-D 1¢ WTRD-012

Description:  1989 reverse design on a 1988-D Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A horizontal die scratch can be found above the Y in LIBERTY.  Reverse:  None significant.

Submitted By:  Charles D. Hudson

Cross References:  None known






1988-D 1¢ WTRD-013

Description:  Transitional Reverse.  1989 reverse design on a 1988 Lincoln cent.

Die Markers:  Obverse:  A small die gouge can be found south of the BE in LIBERTY.  Reverse:  None significant.

Submitted By:  William E. Malayer

Cross References:  None known