“Kissing Lincoln” Penny?

By Erin Carlson Mast

In the Simpson’s season finale on Sunday night,  Bart Simpson embarked on a new hobby: coin collecting.  He quickly fills all the slots in his coin collecting book until he came to the last one, the  “1917 ‘Kissing Lincolns'” cent.  The show explains the “Kissing Lincoln” penny was the result of a striking error at the US mint causing two Lincoln profiles to be facing one another, giving them the appearance of kissing.

Kissing Lincoln Penny from Simpson's Season Finale.

The “Kissing Lincoln’s” cent doesn’t exist in reality, of course, and while some errors do make it into the hands of collectors, according to the US Mint, most errors are recycled on the spot:  http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/collectors_corner/index.cfm?action=Collecting_coins.

There is real news about the Lincoln penny, however, which will receive a make-over this year.  Redesigned pennies will begin circulating in 2009 in celebration of the Bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.  As the US Mint outlines, the four new designs will feature a different image on the reverse side of the coin, one each to commemorate his life in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Washington, D.C.  http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/lincolnRedesign/index.cfm

Perhaps the Simpson’s season finale will inspire the US Mint to rethink the design on the front of the penny too?

UPDATE: After this episode re-aired on television, we received a number of comments from folks claiming they found a real version of the “Kissing Lincoln” penny online.  In both cases the “real” penny was actually the result of Photoshop.  One of the websites acknowledges this without question, the other does not, yet the “real” coin bears no resemblance to the actual layout of the pennies in production in 1917, and would not be the logical result of either a double-strike or mis-strike.  Thanks for sharing nonetheless!

Ms. Erin Mast is Curator at President Lincoln’s Cottage


Filed under History

17 responses to ““Kissing Lincoln” Penny?

  1. chris

    were can i find this penny

  2. presidentlincolnscottage

    Hi Chris,

    A friend was kind enough to capture a still frame of the “Kissing Lincolns” penny from the Simpson’s episode, so it is now part of the post. Enjoy!

  3. Bart Simpson

    That’s so cool. I checked it out online. But it’s fake. Still this is a minor thing going around online and now, it’s pretty big. Love that episode!

  4. Homer Simpson


    Man and all this time I was about to pay five bucks for a fake penny!

    “BART”, Come here you little????


    I will teach you a thing or two!

    By the way everyone we had you going with this penny that you took 5 minutes of your life to check on this penny!

    Simpsons Rule……

  5. Why stop with Lincoln? I will be waiting on the new 50Cent piece. A nerve has already been struck; when will that episode be ready to be minted? Certaintly you will buy the celebrity voice for a chunk of change.

    I think I just named the episode. Coin-Rapper.

    Send royalties to Christopher Queen


  6. Robert

    tHe Penny is real. Me found it online.

  7. Click on the link to see the real penny

  8. presidentlincolnscottage

    Hi Jacqui,

    Notice that that blogger listed it under their “Photoshop” category, which they emphasized in their “PS” at the bottom of the post. It’s not real, just a well-done photoshop job.

  9. presidentlincolnscottage

    Hi Christian,

    Looks like a hoax. First, the white outline of the features is odd. A photographed coin wouldn’t have that appearance.

    Second, if you look at a normal 1917 penny:

    You’ll note that the date is off-set. Why would an inverted, double-strike result in the date being perfectly centered below both Lincoln faces? It isn’t logical.

    All the numismatist sites I’ve seen that mention it indicate the Simpsons coin is not based on a real collectable.

  10. Ah, the Simpsons and coin collecting, two of America’s favorite pastimes! I kid of course, I thought it was a good episode to get more of the young generation interested in coin collecting.

    The fake Kissing Lincoln coin is too funny!

  11. Karly


    I’m a big fan of The Simpson,
    and this episode was really funny
    i actually look on internet about the penny
    during the episode,.

  12. Joe

    Lol, I just did the same thing a few min ago, looking & watching at the same time. Seemed pretty interesting if there was a penny like that, although a mistake wouldn’t have made a mirror image. I wonder how many others fewl into it??

  13. ANN


  14. brian

    If prehaps a penny was double stuck, the heads would be inverted in relation to one another. If a second penny got stuck in the anvil, the reversed image would be a negative (indented) image, hardly likley. A stuck coin in a striking press results in a front and back design on one side of the coin (it happens).

  15. Pingback: 7 Kissing Coins Sites | NEW SILVER COINS

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