The penny, the United States one-cent coin ( symbol : ¢ ), frequently called the “ penny “, is a whole of currency equaling one one-hundredth of a United States dollar. It has been the lowest face-value physical unit of measurement of U.S. currency since the abolition of the half-cent in 1857 ( the abstract mill, which has never been minted, adequate to a tenth of a penny, continues to see limited use in the fields of tax income and finance ). The first gear U.S. cent was produced in 1787, and the cent has been issued primarily as a copper or copper-plated coin throughout its history. The penny is issued in its stream shape as the Lincoln penny, with its obverse featuring the profile of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909, the centennial of his birth. From 1959 ( the sesquicentennial of Lincoln ‘s parentage ) to 2008, the reverse featured the Lincoln Memorial. Four different reverse designs in 2009 honored Lincoln ‘s two-hundredth birthday and a modern, “ permanent wave ” reverse – the Union Shield – was introduced in 2010. The mint is 0.75 inches ( 19.05 millimeter ) in diameter and 0.0598 inches ( 1.52 millimeter ) in thickness. The current copper-plated zinc penny issued since 1982 weighs 2.5 grams, while the previous 95 % copper penny even found in circulation weighed 3.11 thousand ( see far below ). The U.S. Mint ‘s official name for the coin is “ penny “ [ 1 ] and the U.S. Treasury ‘s official appoint is “ one penny patch ”. [ 2 ] The colloquial condition penny derives from the british coin of the like name, which occupies a exchangeable plaza in the british system. Pennies is the plural imprint ( not to be confused with pence, which refers to the unit of currentness ).
In the early on 2010s, the price of alloy used to make pennies rose to a obtrusive cost to the mint which peaked at more than $ 0.02, a negative seigniorage, for the $ 0.01 face-value coin. This pushed the mint to look for alternative metals again for the mint, and besides brought the debate about eliminating the mint into more focus. As of 2022 there are no firm plans to do so. [ 3 ]
history of composition [edit ]
The composing of the penny has varied over time : [ 4 ] [ 5 ]
|1793–1795||~100% copper||208 grains||13.48|
|1795–1857 †||~100% copper||168 grains||10.89|
|1856–1864||88% copper, 12% nickel (also known as NS-12)||72 grains||4.67|
|1864–1942||bronze (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc)||48 grains||3.11|
|1943||zinc-coated steel (also known as 1943 steel cent)||42 grains||2.72|
|1944–1946||gilding metal (95% copper, 5% zinc)||48 grains||3.11|
|1947–1962||bronze (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc)||48 grains||3.11|
|1962 – September 1982||gilding metal (95% copper, 5% zinc)||48 grains||3.11|
|October 1982 – present||copper-plated zinc (97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper)||38.6 grains||2.5|
The isotope composition of early coins spanning the period 1828 to 1843 reflects the bull from cornish ores from England, while coins after 1850 reflect the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan ores, a discover consistent with historical records. [ 6 ] In 1943, at the point of World War II, zinc-coated steel cents were made for a abruptly clock because of war demands for copper. A few copper cents from 1943 were produced from 1942 planchets remaining in the bins. Similarly, some 1944 sword cents have been confirmed. From 1944 to 1946, salvaged ammunition shells made their way into the mint process, and it was not uncommon to see coins featuring streaks of brass or having a well dark finish than early issues. During the early 1970s, the price of copper rose to the luff where the cent contained about one cent ‘s worth of bull. This led the Mint to test alternate metals, including aluminum and bronze -clad steel. Aluminum was chosen, and over 1.5 million samples of the 1974 aluminum penny were struck ahead ultimately being rejected. The cent ‘s writing was changed in 1982 because the value of the bull in the mint started to rise above one penny. [ 7 ] Some 1982 cents used the 97.5 % zinc typography, while others used the 95 % bull composition. With the exception of 2009 bicentennial cents minted specifically for collectors, United States cents minted after 1982 have been zinc with copper plate. The bronze and bull cents can be distinguished from the newer zinc cents by dropping the coins on a solid surface. The predominantly zinc coins make a lower-pitched “ clop ”, while the copper coins produce a higher-pitched ring healthy. [ 8 ] In summation, a full 50-cent roll of pre-1982/3 coins weighs 5.4 oz ( 150 deoxyguanosine monophosphate ) compared to a post-1982–83 scroll which weighs 4.4 oz ( 120 gravitational constant ) .
Designs [edit ]
The coin has gone through several designs over its two-hundred-year time human body. Until 1857 it was about the size of the current U.S. dollar coins ( Susan B. Anthony through salute dollars ). Shown below are the different cent designs that have been produced ; mintage figures can be found at United States penny coinage figures. Large cents:
Throughout its history, the Lincoln penny has featured several typefaces for the date, but most of the digits have been old-style numerals, except with the 4 and 8 neither ascending nor descending. The only meaning deviation is that the little 3 was non-descending ( the same size as a 0, 1, or 2 ) in the early history, before switching to a derive, large 3 for the year 1934 and then permanently ( as of 2014 ) in 1943. similarly, the finger 5 was little and non-descending up to 1945 .
- Liberty Cap penny, 1794
- classical Head cent, 1811
- Braided Hair large penny, 1850
- Flying Eagle modest penny, 1858
- indian Head cent, 1859
Lincoln cent [edit ]
- A 1937 Wheat cent
- Lincoln penny with cameo effect, obverse
- Obverse side of a penny after 17 years of circulation
The Lincoln cent is the current one-cent coin of the U.S. It was adopted in 1909 ( which would have been Lincoln ‘s hundredth birthday ), replacing the indian Head penny. Its inverse was changed in 1959 from a wheat-stalks design to a design which includes the Lincoln Memorial ( to commemorate Lincoln ‘s sesquicentennial ) and was replaced again in 2009 with four modern designs to commemorate Lincoln ‘s bicentennial. There are more one-cent coins produced than any other denomination, which makes the Lincoln cent a familiar detail. In its life, this coin has weathered both populace wars, one of which temporarily changed its composition as separate of the war campaign. The obverse design is the longest produced for any circulate american english mint .
history [edit ]
collection of Lincoln cents from 1941 to 1974. Nearly complete set in a folder. Also features two error coins. Reverses of the Lincoln cent Wheat ( 1909–1958 ) Lincoln Memorial ( 1959–2008 ) Formative Years in Indiana ( Lincoln Bicentennial, 2009 )
When the Lincoln one-cent coin made its initial appearance in 1909, it marked a radical passing from the bear style of United States neologism, as it was the inaugural regular coin to bear a portrayal early than the fabulous Liberty which appeared on most pre-1909 regular coins. previously, a solid feel had prevailed against using portraits on coins in the United States, but public sentiment stemming from the hundredth anniversary celebration of Abraham Lincoln ‘s birth proved stronger than the long-standing tradition. A variety of privately minted tokens bearing Lincoln ‘s image circulated as one-cent pieces during Lincoln ‘s presidency ; legitimate coinage had become barely during the Civil War. These early tokens undoubtedly influenced the denomination, appearance, size, and constitution of Lincoln cents. Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th U.S. president, thought american coins were indeed common and uninspiring that he attempted to get the motto “ In God We Trust ” removed as offending religion. Roosevelt had the opportunity to pose for a unseasoned Lithuanian-born Jew, Victor David Brenner, who, since arriving nineteen years earlier in the United States had become one of the nation ‘s premier medalists. Roosevelt had learned of Brenner ‘s talents in a colony firm on New York City ‘s Lower East Side and was immediately impress with a bas-relief that Brenner had made of Lincoln, based on a Mathew Brady photograph. Roosevelt, who considered Lincoln the savior of the Union and the greatest republican president, and who besides considered himself Lincoln ‘s political heir, ordered the modern Lincoln penny to be based on Brenner ‘s ferment and to be released fair in time to commemorate Lincoln ‘s hundredth birthday in 1909. The compare of President Lincoln on the obverse of the coin is an adaptation of a plaque Brenner created several years earlier which had come to the care of President Roosevelt in New York. [ 10 ] In addition to the official elements on U.S. coins—LIBERTY and the date—the motto In God We Trust appeared for the first meter on a coin of this denomination. The United States Congress passed the Act of March 3, 1865, authorizing the use of this motto on U.S. coins, [ 11 ] during Lincoln ‘s tenure in office. even though no legislation was required for the newfangled design, blessing of the Secretary of the Treasury was necessary to make the exchange. Franklin MacVeagh gave his approval on July 14, 1909, and not quite three weeks late, on August 2, the new mint was released to the public. In 1918, after the controversy over Brenner ‘s appoint and initials on the reverse had died down, his initials were placed on the obverse with no farther controversy. They are to be found in moment form on the rim of the tear, just under the shoulder of Lincoln .
Wheat penny ( 1909–1958 ) [edit ]
A study of three electric potential reverses resulted in the approval of a very simple design bearing two wheatheads in memorial style. Between these, in the center of the coin, are the appellation and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, while curving around the upper frame is the national motto, E Pluribus Unum, Latin for “ Out of Many, One ”. The original model bore Brenner ‘s name on the revoke, curving along the flange below UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Before the coins were issued, however, the initials “ VDB ” were substituted because officials at the United States Mint felt the name was excessively outstanding. After the coin was released, many protested that tied the initials were blatant and detracted from the design. Because the mint was in big demand, and because to make a change would have required stem production, the decision was made to eliminate the initials entirely. frankincense in 1909 the U.S. had six different cents : the 1909 and 1909-S indian Head cents, and four Lincoln coins : 1909 VDB, 1909-S VDB, 1909 and 1909-S. In all cases the Philadelphia mintages far exceeded the San Francisco issues. While the smallest mintage is the ’09-S amerind, the ’09-S VDB is the key Lincoln date, and hence is most valuable. Its mintage of 484,000 is only 1.7 % of the plain V.D.B .
Lincoln Memorial penny ( 1959–2008 ) [edit ]
detail of change by reversal showing Lincoln statue inside the memorial On February 12, 1959, a revised invert design was introduced as function of the hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln ‘s give birth. No conventional competition was held. Frank Gasparro, then Assistant Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint, prepared the winning submission, selected from a group of 23 models that the engraving staff at the Mint had been asked to present for circumstance. Again, merely the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury was necessary to make the change because the design had been in use for more than the needed 25 years. The imposing marble Lincoln Memorial provides the central theme, with the legends E Pluribus Unum and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA completing the plan, in concert with the denomination. The initials “ FG ” appear on the right, near the shrubbery. This series is noteworthy for having the visualize of Abraham Lincoln both on the obverse and rearward, as his compare can be discerned at the center of the memorial on the reverse .
Lincoln Bicentennial cents ( 2009 ) [edit ]
The Presidential $ 1 Coin Act of 2005 required that the penny ‘s overrule be redesigned in 2009. This resulted in the mintage of four different coins showing scenes from Abraham Lincoln ‘s life in honor of the bicentennial of his birth. These four designs, unveiled September 22, 2008 at a ceremony held at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., are :
special 2009 cents struck for sale in sets to collectors had the metallic copper content of cents minted in 1909 ( 95 % copper, 5 % can and zinc ). [ 14 ] Those struck for circulation retained the normal composition of a zinc core coated with copper .
Union shield cent ( 2010–present ) [edit ]
The 2005 act that authorized the redesign for the Bicentennial stated that another redesign inverse for the Lincoln penny will be minted which “ shall bear an visualize emblematic of President Lincoln ‘s preservation of the United States of America as a single and unite country ”. [ 15 ] Eighteen designs were proposed for the reverse of the 2010 penny. [ 16 ] On April 16, 2009 the Commission of Fine Arts ( CFA ) met and selected a design that showed 13 pale yellow sheaves bound in concert with a ring symbolizing american one as one nation. [ 17 ] Later this purpose was withdrawn because it was like to coinage issued in Germany in the 1920s. [ 18 ] The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee late met and chose a design showing a Union harbor with ONE CENT superimposed in a scroll ; E Pluribus Unum was besides depicted in the upper berth share of the shield. [ 18 ] [ 19 ] In June 2009 the CFA met again and chose a design featuring a advanced rendition of the american english iris. [ 20 ] As a separate of the acquittance ceremony for the stopping point of the 2009 cents on November 12, the invention for the 2010 cent was announced. [ 21 ] The design chosen was the one that was chosen early by the CCAC. [ 21 ] According to the Mint, the 13 stripes on the harbor “ represent the states joined in one compact union to support the Federal government, represented by the horizontal bar above ”. [ 22 ] The Mint besides noted that a shield was normally used in paintings in the Capitol hallways painted by Constantino Brumidi, an artist in the Capitol active during the Lincoln Presidency. [ 22 ] The obverse of the penny was besides changed to a modern interpretation of Brenner ‘s design. [ 23 ] [ 21 ] The new Union Shield plan replaces the Lincoln memorial in use since 1959. [ 21 ] The coin was designed by artist Lyndall Bass and sculpted by U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver Joseph Menna. [ 24 ] In January 2010, the coins were released early on in Puerto Rico ; [ 25 ] this was caused by a deficit of 2009-dated pennies on the island. [ 23 ] The new design was released at a ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois on February 11, 2010. [ 26 ] In 2017, cents minted in Philadelphia were struck with a “ P ” mintmark to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Mint. 2017 is the entirely year that Philadelphia cents have had a mintmark. [ 27 ] In 2019, the United States Mint, the West Point Mint minted pennies marked with a “ W ” mintmark which was only available with proof sets, wrapped individually from the proof set in its own United States Mint formative wrapping. [ 28 ]
production issues [edit ]
Proposals to eliminate [edit ]
It has been suggested that the cent should be eliminated as a unit of currency for several reasons including that many Americans do not actually spend them, but preferably only receive them in change at stores and proceed to return them to a bank for higher denomination currencies, or cash them in at coin counting kiosks. Most modern vending machines do not accept pennies, far diminishing their utility, and the production cost ( figured in U.S. Dollars ) now exceeds the face rate of the mint, caused by increasing ostentation. [ 29 ] In 2001 and 2006, for exemplar, United States Representative Jim Kolbe ( R ) of Arizona introduced bills which would have stopped production of pennies ( in 2001, the Legal Tender Modernization Act, and in 2006, the Currency Overhaul for an energetic nation [ COIN ] Act ). [ 30 ] In anticipation of the clientele of melting down U.S. pennies and U.S. nickels for net income, the U.S. Mint, which is a share of the US Department of the Treasury, implemented new regulations [ 31 ] on December 14, 2006, which criminalize the dissolve of pennies and nickels and place limits on export of the coins. Violators can be punished with a fine of up to $ 10,000 USD and/or imprisoned for a utmost of five years. [ 32 ]
Metal capacity and manufacture costs [edit ]
The price of alloy drives the cost to manufacture a penny. The Secretary of the Treasury has assurance to alter the percentage of copper and zinc in the one-cent coin if needed due to cost fluctuations. [ 33 ] For years, the Mint ‘s production and ship costs for cents have exceeded the face measure of the mint ( the Mint ‘s fix costs and viewgraph, however, are absorbed by other circulating coins ). [ 34 ] As a consequence, the U.S. Treasury loses tens of millions of dollars every year producing cents. For example, the loss in 2013 was $ 55 million .
|Fiscal year||2010 ||2011||2012||2013||2014 ||2015 ||2016 ||2017||2018 ||2019 |
When copper reached a record high in February 2011, [ 42 ] the melt value of a 95 % copper cent was more than three times its face value. As of January 21, 2014, a pre-1982 penny contained 2.203 cents ‘ deserving of copper and zinc, making it an attractive target for melting by people wanting to sell the metals for profit. In comparison, post-1982 copper-plated zinc cents have a metallurgical value of only 0.552 penny. [ 43 ]
perniciousness [edit ]
Zinc, a major part of U.S. cents minted after mid-1982, is toxic in big quantities. Swallowing such a coin, which is 97.5 % zinc, can cause damage to the stomach lining because of the high solubility of the zinc ion in the acidic stomach. [ 44 ] Coins are the most normally absorb extraneous body in children but by and large are allowed to pass spontaneously unless the patient is symptomatic. [ 45 ] Zinc toxicity, largely in the human body of the consumption of U.S. pennies minted after 1982, is normally fatal in dogs where it causes a austere hemolytic anemia. [ 46 ] It is besides highly toxic in pet parrots and can much be fatal. [ 47 ]