In 1969, the dies were modified to strengthen the design, and Lincoln’s head was made slightly smaller. In 1973, dies were further modified and the engraver’s initials FG made larger. The initials were reduced slightly in 1974. During 1982 the dies were again modified and the bust, lettering, and date made slightly smaller. One variety of the 1984 cent shows Lincoln’s ear doubled. Some 1,579,324 cents dated 1974 were struck in aluminum as experimental pieces. None were placed in circulation, and most were later destroyed. One was preserved for the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution. Other 1974 experimental cents were struck in bronzeclad steel.