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Penny Facts

A little information about the smallest coin in use today.

The 1-cent coin, or penny, was the first currency of any type authorized by the United States.
More that 300 billion pennies, with 11 different designs, have been minted since 1787.

No pennies were minted in 1815 because of a copper shortage during the war of 1812 with Britain.

The Flying Eagle cent was first produced in 1856 and the Indian cent in 1859.

Most Indian cents minted during the Civil War went primarily to pay Union soldiers.

In 1909, Abraham Lincoln became the first historical figure to grace a U.S. coin
when he was portrayed on the penny to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his
birth. The Lincoln penny was also the first to include the words “In God We Trust.”

During World War II, zinc-coated steel cents were struck because of a copper shortage.

The Lincoln Memorial was added to the reverse of the penny by U.S. Mint engraver
Frank Gasparro in 1959 to mark Lincoln’s 150th birthday, making it the first and
only U.S. coin to feature the same person on both sides.

I hope this makes you a little more aware of the historical value of the lowly penny.
Some people have suggested doing away with the penny, but then, what would we do
about the expression. ‘A penny for your thoughts?”