The U.S penny has been under debate since at least 1990—if not earlier due to the fact that the metals used to make it are worth more than what the penny is worth. While other countries have eliminated coins they feel are no longer worth producing, the United States continues to mint them. Perhaps this is due to the fact that pennies throughout history have been considered to be lucky coins. A fact that’s immortalized by National Lucky Penny Day, a day that’s observed on the 23rd of May every year.
The History Of The Penny
Unable to uncover the history of National Lucky Penny Day, we decided to go on a journey and uncover the history behind the penny. We wanted to find out the origins of penny coins and find out why people are so attached to them despite the inconvenience of their use.
The first English coin to be known as a penny was first introduced in 790 AD by the Anglo-Saxon King Offa. Unlike pennies that would come later, this coin was entirely made out of silver. Eventually, British pennies or pence, would be made in copper-plated steel instead of silver and become worth 1-100th of a pound.
In the U.S., the first one-cent piece was minted in 1793. It was originally minted as a one-cent piece to distinguish it from the British penny, but habits are hard to break and Americans continued to refer to them as pennies. A habit that continues to this day. Oh, by the way, the first American penny was reportedly designed by no other than Benjamin Franklin. This penny was known as a Fugio Cent.
As the value of copper has increased over the years, and the value of the penny decreased due to inflation, the expense of producing them has gone up. Now it’s estimated that it costs almost 1.8-cents to produce each one.
Facts About The U.S Penny
Below are some interesting facts we’ve uncovered about the U.S penny. These facts are great to spring on friends and family on National Lucky Penny Day.
- The image of Abraham Lincoln on pennies was designed by Victor David Brenner.
- The average penny will remain in circulation for over 25-years.
- In March 1793, the first batch of pennies was minted. That’s 11,178 pennies in all.
- The pennies of 1793 were quite large and hard to use, but wouldn’t be resized until 1857.
Observing National Lucky Penny Day
There really is no way to celebrate National Lucky Penny Day, not unless you decide to see how many pennies you collect on this day or add some pennies to your coin collection. You can use the hashtag #NationalLuckyPennyDay on your social media accounts to let everyone know that you’re observing this day, but if you do, be sure to post some pictures of pennies along with it.
When is National Lucky Penny Day?
|This year (2021)||May 23 (Sunday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Next year (2022)||May 23 (Monday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Last year (2020)||May 23 (Saturday)||Multiple dates - more|