Teaching Your Child The Art Of Coin Collecting? Here's 4 Interesting Facts About The Penny

Have you ever wondered about the history of the US penny? Or is it just a coin that you have in your pocket? Perhaps, your child has started collecting coins and you'd like to teach them about the history of the penny. You might be surprised to know that some people think that the penny should be discontinued. Take a look at some interesting facts about the meager penny.

First Lincoln Penny Minted in 1909

Prior to 1909, the US penny looked much different. It wasn't until 1904 that President Theodore Roosevelt decided that the lowly penny should have a more artistic look. An artist named Augustus Saint-Gaudens was commissioned to create a new look for the penny. Since that time, the penny has been engraved with President Abraham Lincoln.

Billions of Pennies Are Minted Each Year

You might be surprised to know that the US mint creates billions of pennies each year. In fact, in 2014, more than 8 billion pennies were minted. That's in addition to all the other coins that are minted each year. No wonder you find so many pennies on the ground.

Not All Pennies Are Worth a Cent

If your child has decided to collect coins. It's worth it to start with the pennies. While some collectible pennies are worth a few dollars, the extremely rare cents are worth more. If you're looking to get rich off a penny, the 1793 penny is the one you should be looking for. It is one of the rarest US pennies, and it's worth over $275,000. You'll have to look hard though, since there are only about four to be found.

Content of the Penny Changed During WWII

Prior to WWII, pennies were made almost entirely of copper. The war effort created a massive shortage of copper. As a result, the US government began making pennies out of steel. The design remained the same, but the content changed. Steel pennies were quickly halted when problems developed with them. Some of the problems included:

  • Steel pennies looked like dimes

  • Vending machine magnets mistook the pennies for metal slugs

  • Moisture made the steel pennies rust

Coin collecting isn't as popular as it used to be. However, if you're trying to get your child involved in a hobby, coin collecting may be the perfect way to start. These historical facts about the penny will help you teach your child about the pennies they're collecting. For more information, contact a business such as Penny Pincher Coins & Jewelry.