Lincoln Wheat Backs were minted from 1909 - 1959. These coins had the great wheat penny back design until 1959, then it was changed over to the memorial reverse. There are many varieties such as the 1909 VDB cents, the steel cents during WWII, the 1982 zinc composite coins as well as the Lincoln Bi-centennial coins from 2009. The Lincoln Cent was made of 95% copper and 5% zinc and tin until 1962 with the exception of the steel cents during the war. Then the composition changed to a 95% copper and 5% zinc combination in 1962 and in 1982 it changed once again to 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper where it remains today. The diameter of the Lincoln Cent is 19mm.
The key date coins in the Lincoln Cent series are the 1909-S, the 1909-S VDB, the 1914-D, 1922 no mint mark and the 1931-S Lincoln cent. The coins in the Lincoln Penny series are easily obtained for most collectors, and make this one of the few series in which a complete collection can be acquired.