10 Facts About Pennies… (Trust Me, This Is Worth Every Penny!)

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While attempting to find the value of rare pennies for some of our loyal readers, I came across some interesting info about pennies in general.

Just thought I’d share…

Did you know?…

#1 – The average penny lasts 30 years!

#2 – Pennies were the very first coins minted in the United States. In March 1793, the mint distributed 11,178 copper cents. (The amount of copper and zinc in the penny has changed significantly through the years.)

“Every penny counts.”

#3 – There have been 11 different designs featured on the penny.

#4 – The Lincoln penny was first minted and circulated in 1909, the 100th anniversary of his birth.

#5 – Lincoln faces to the right, while all other portraits on coins face to the left. This was not done on purpose — it was simply the choice of the coin designer.

#6 – In a coin toss, I always choose tails. Here’s why. (…although the U.S. Mint disputes this theory)

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

#7 – The penny was the first U.S. coin to have the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”. (Clarification: see Ben’s comment below.)

#8 – Lincoln pennies made from 1909 to 1958 were designed by Victor D. Brenner. His initials V.D.B. were on a limited quantity of the 1909 pennies making it one of the most sought after pennies for collecting.

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Listen to some little-known facts from NPR audio about Frank Gasparro, an engraver at the U.S. Mint whose Lincoln Memorial design has graced the “tails” side of the penny since 1959 (…Lincoln’s 150th birthday. The same year they replaced the wheat shafts on the back of the penny with the Lincoln Memorial).

#9 – Each year, the U.S. Mint produces more than 7 billion pennies. That’s approximately 19 million pennies per day! 

#10 – Over two-thirds of all coins produced by the U.S. Mint are pennies. In fact, the penny is the most widely used denomination currently in circulation and it remains profitable to make. Each penny costs .81 of a cent to make, but the Mint collects one cent for it. The profit goes to help fund the operation of the Mint and to help pay the public debt.

“It’s worth every penny.”
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A recent poll by Opinion Research Corporation found that approximately 70% of Americans support keeping the penny in circulation. (NOTE: elimination of the penny would lead to higher prices, since prices would then be rounded to the nearest 5 cents.)

Must read: Rare Pennies You Should Hold On To!

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