Penny Facts
Here are a few items of penny trivia.

  • U.S. Coins have an expected circulation life of 30 years.
  • The U.S. Mint produces 1040 pennies per second, which adds up to 30 million per day. This is over two-thirds of all the coins produced by the U.S. Mint.
  • It is estimated there may be 150 billion pennies in circulation.
  • Today the United States has four mints, which produce coins. These are in Philadelphia, PA; Denver, CO; San Francisco, CA; and West Point, NY. However, only Denver and Philadelphia produce coins for general circulation. The others make proofs sets and do specialty minting.
  • A "Mint Mark" near the date can identify the mint, which produced a coin. Denver stamps a "D" on the coin and Philadelphia stamps a "P" on the coin but on the penny leaves it blank. Thus a penny with no mint mark was made in Philadelphia.
  • In 1974, as a test, there were 1,579,324 Pennies made of pure Aluminum struck (produced) by the U.S. Mint. These were never circulated and most were later destroyed.
  • The original small copper cent was released in 1864. It featured an Indian Head on the front and Olive Wreath on the back.
  • The Lincoln Penny was the first U.S. Coin to feature a historic figure, The original Lincoln Head Penny was designed in 1909. This was the 100th anniversary of his birth. The original design had Lincoln on the front (obverse) and Wheat shafts on the back (reverse). In 1959 the penny was redesigned to include the Lincoln Memorial on the back. This was the 150 year anniversary of Lincoln's birthday.

  1. Americans for Common Cents, 2001
  2. The Official Red Book, "Guide to US Coins", 55th Edition 2002, St Martin's Press, Copyright 2001.

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