Fugio Cent

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One Cent
United States
Value 0.01 U.S. dollar
Mass 10.2 g
Composition Cu
Obverse
Fugio cent.jpg
Design Sun and Sun dial
Designer Benjamin Franklin
Design date 1787
Reverse
Fugio cent reverse.png
Design "We Are One", 13 State Chain Links
Designer Benjamin Franklin
Design date 1787

The Fugio Cent is the first official cent of the United States. It was designed by Benjamin Franklin and rare examples are highly sought after by collectors.

History[edit]

Continental Currency 1/3-Dollar (obverse) with inscriptions "Fugio" and "Mind your business"

On April 21, 1787, the Congress of the Confederation of the United States authorized a design for an official copper penny,[1] later referred to as the Fugio cent because of its image of the sun shining down on a sundial with the caption, "Fugio" (Latin: I flee/fly). This coin was reportedly designed by Benjamin Franklin; as a reminder to its holders, he put at its bottom the message, "Mind Your Business". The image and the words form a rebus meaning that time flies, do your work. This design was also used on the "Continental dollar" (issued as coins of unknown real denomination, and in paper notes of different fractional denominations) in February 1776.

Some historians believe that the word "business" was intended literally here, as Franklin was an influential and successful businessman. Given Franklin's history publishing aphorisms, it may have been intended to mean both monetary and social business.

The reverse side of both the 1776 coins and paper notes, and the 1787 coins, bore the third motto "We Are One" (in English) surrounded by thirteen chain links, representing the original thirteen colonial states.

Following the reform of the central government with the 1789 ratification of the 1787 Constitution, gold and silver coins transitioned to the motto "E pluribus unum" from the Great Seal of the United States.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Norton, Frank Henry; et al. (1875). American Journal of Numismatics 10 (1): 1–6. 

External links[edit]