Penny Coin Value Checker
Flying Eagle Penny
indian head penny
Penny Coin Value by Years Table
The penny has been around in some form since the early days of British and American currency. The first official penny was minted in England in the 8th century, and was made of silver. By the 12th century it was made of copper, and by the 17th century the familiar penny made of bronze was introduced.
When America was still a group of British colonies, they used British currency including pennies. The first uniquely American penny was minted in 1787, after the American Revolution. It was larger and made of copper, not bronze. Over the next century, the US penny evolved to be smaller and incorporate more zinc into the metal composition.
Abraham Lincoln became the first historical figure featured on the US penny in 1909, during the 100th anniversary of his birth. This “Lincoln penny” remained the standard design for over 50 years. The Lincoln penny was also the first circulated coin to bear the motto “In God We Trust.”
In 1943, copper was badly needed for World War II, so pennies were briefly made of zinc-coated steel. These silver-colored pennies were unpopular and discontinued after one year. In 1982 the penny composition changed to 97.5% zinc with a copper plating.
Over the last decades, inflation has led many to question keeping the penny in circulation. It costs nearly two cents to make each new penny, fueling debate over whether the costs outweigh tradition. Despite periodic proposals to cease minting, the penny persists as an iconic part of American currency.