Talk:Penny (United States coin)

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1980 silver-colored penny?[edit]

Not sure if it is a defect, counterfeit, or an uncoated prototype for the 1982 zinc/copper version, but I have in my possession a silver-colored 1980 penny, with luster comparable to new pennies. Any way someone could do an investigation to see if it should be added or not? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I see no reference to such in my coin books. This isn't the place to ask about it. Try one of the big Numismatic sites. Lincoln F. Stern 00:40, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Once found a '74 like this, too. Took it to a coin shop and they said it was worthless and kept it. Later, see it for sale in same shop for a few grand. Sigh. Anyways, anybody knows anything about these strange pennies? If not, leave the subject be, right? BratmanGodzilla (talk) 16:18, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Every year in science classrooms all across the usa teachers and students chemically plate zinc to copper pennies to make "silver pennies", and sometimes then heat them in a flame to alloy the zinc and copper to make "gold pennies"; inevitably some of these end up in circulation. go see for your self on youtube, search for making silver pennies.Grabba (talk) 18:12, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Another possibility is that the one-cent piece was an error coin. Where a dime or nickle planchet is accidentally dropped into the penny stamping press. The coin then bears the features of the penny, but on the silver-coloured nickel or dime round. These types of error are very rare, and therefore very valuable, and might account for the price given.
Η936631 (talk) 12:50, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
A nickel planchet cannot get into the penny stamping press. A dime could, yes, but the cladding would show and it would likely be ill-struck.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:42, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
That and not to mention that the cent would be undersized. Note I work in the jewelry industry and am familiar with several plating processes. I have experimented and found a couple of low cost products that one can easily obtain from internet based venders that will plate a copper coin or the copper plated zinc cent with a very thin layer of silver. It takes some work but I got spectacular results from a 2010 cent that looked like a proof silver coin when I was done polishing it. The only difference in appearance between it and a proof visually is a barely perceivable loss of detail visible only under magnification. If I can do that at a cost of less than 1 cent in 5 minutes I would suggest this is the most likely cause of the "silver cents" people sometimes see in circulation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:08, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

More nickels?[edit]

The article states: "Decrease dependence on copper — the penny is 97.5% zinc, and its removal might require more nickels. The nickel is 75% copper, and copper is less abundant than zinc."

But why, exactly would we need more nickels? Cash purchases rounded to the nearest nickel that would require actual nickels to be given in change are those that end in 10¢ (“Ninety cents is your change — three quarters, one dime, and a nickel.”), 20¢, 35¢, 45¢, 60¢, 70¢, 85¢, and 95¢. In other words: 8 out of 20 transactions, or 40% of the time.

Let’s compare this to the situation we have currently, where there are 100 different possible combinations (0-99) of coin change every time you go through the checkout. You get a nickel whenever you’re owed 5-9, 15-19, 30-34, 40-44, 55-59, 65-69, 80-84, or 90-94 cents. That’s 40 times out of 100 or 40% of the time.

Eliminating pennies just eliminates pennies. It doesn’t require more of any other coins.

This should be listed in the "Arguments for preservation" list because is has been publicly put forth by lobbyists, but we should also point out that it is a fallacy.

I've removed this from the main page because it has several flaws in its logic at the moment. (There's also the "original research" issue, but I think it's fairly straightforward to derive the above probabilities and I don't really agree with this being "original research".)
Quote - "'No original research' does not prohibit experts on a specific topic from adding their knowledge to Wikipedia. On the contrary, Wikipedia welcomes the contributions of experts, as long as their knowledge is verifiable." I am an expert (Math teacher) and my knowledge is verifiable (by anyone with a 7th grade education or better).--Freshmutt 21:17, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
However, I think the solution is not to introduce a complicated refutation of the "Decreased dependence on copper" point. I think the solution is to remove that point entirely, with the above as an explanation here on Talk. So that's what I'm going to do.--chris.lawson 15:56, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
This should not be removed because it is one of the major arguements of those fighting the ban and has been widely disseminated by the media. It should be treated like the article on the moon-landing hoax. All of the arguements should be listed and debunked in the same space. The first 4 arguments in this section have caveats, and so should this one.--Freshmutt 18:48, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Here is a paragraph from a CNN story"Kolbe is from Arizona, the largest-copper producing state. The nickel is made predominantly of copper, as is the dollar coin, which he also supports. If we introduced a rounding bill, we would need more nickels. The whole proposal is special-interest lobbying at its worst," said Mark Weller, president of Americans for Common Cents.#REDIRECT --Freshmutt 00:34, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

It's not a fallacy, and the example above is incorrect (it implies that $1 = 98¢). Eliminating the penny shifts the threshold for a nickel down two cents. If you assume a model where any amount up to and including a dollar is satisfied by the maximum number of quarters, then the maximum number of dimes, and then the maximum number of nickels, the set of all permutations using either method requires 40 nickels and 80 dimes. However, the non-rounding method requires 154 quarters while the rounding one requires 162 quarters. (Try it using the "mround" function in Excel.) Put more simply, $50.50 equals 154 quarters, 80 dimes, 40 nickels, and 200 cents. If we round to the nearest nickel, it equals 162 quarters, 80 dimes, and 40 nickels. The copper in the eight extra quarters is much less than that in the 200 pennies that they replace, however, so it's still a savings of copper. Sorry about being so long-winded. Hariboa (talk) 19:01, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Actually, a quarter contains 5.198 grams of copper (5.67 g of which 91.67% is copper), and a penny contains 0.0625 grams of copper (2.5 g of which 2.5% is copper), so 8 quarters contain 41.58 g copper and 200 pennies contain 12.5 g copper. The quarters actually contain 3.3 times more copper than the pennies, not "much less" (talk) 18:52, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

No more pennies??[edit]

I heard yesterday at a newspaper AJC that there will soon be no more pennies minted by the United States. Are they kidding?? Because newspapers are supposed to give serious news, what are they really saying?? 17:26, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

There have been many, many reports over the years that the Lincoln cent will be discontinued due to its unnecessary nature. Until the US Mint has reported something, I'd take any reports with a grain of salt. The most realistic report I heard is that they would suspend minting one-cent coins after 2009, being the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln cent. Prices for all goods would be made to round to the nearest 5 cents.

Presumably final prices, and only on cash transactions, as in Australia. If gas can be priced in tenths of cents, despite 1 cent being hte lowest denomination, there's no reason to avoid cents just because the 5-cent is now the smallest -- Nik42 04:44, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
I know I read something in the last year from the mint or the treasury denying any plans to discontinue the penny. I just looked around online and couldn't find it, though. It's possible it was an NPR interview with someone from the mint that I heard... —BenFrantzDale 04:40, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
The US mint is planning a redesign of the penny for 2009, so obviously there couldn't be any plans to discontinue the penny before that date. See Presidential_$1_Coin_Act_of_2005#Other_provisions
My personal opinion is that, rather then discontinue the 1-cent coin, the US should revalue the dollar at a rate of 1 New Dollar = 5 Old Dollars. Then we could keep the same denominations, minus the $100 and maybe $50, while gaining a more convenient value for the coins and bills Nik42 01:01, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
The mint just outlawed the meltdown of pennies today, so I doubt they're planning to discontinue them any time soon. They wouldn't protect them so severely if they didn't plan on keeping them in circulation for a good long while. Frzl 15:37, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Origin of Phrase[edit]

Anyone know the origin of the phrase "a penny for your thoughts"? Is this an American phrase, or did it originate outside the U.S.? Is this phrase used outside the U.S.? Thanks in advance, although I'd be surprised if anyone even sees the Penny talk page. --Lord Voldemort (Dark Mark) 16:18, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

I'd be surprised if anyone read it too...especially since it should really be the 'Cent' talk page as the US has never minted a penny. ;) Oh, BTW: For an answer to your question, check here: [Origin] -- 01:09, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

The 1 pence piece in the UK has historically been called a penny, I suspect the word penny comes from pence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:05, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Other way around, I believe - the plural was changed from "pennies" to "pence" when Britain went from the old penny (1/240 of a pound, or 1d) to the new (1/100 of a pound, or 1p) in 1971. This was so people didn't get confused between "six pennies" (=6d/2.5p) and "six pence" (=6p) Richard Gadsden (talk) 15:24, 15 December 2011 (UTC)


Does anyone know the history of the penny's size, considering it has been constant for over 100 years, and has been adopted for the corresponding Canadian coin? Just curious, really. Xyzzyva 06:15, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

This is the only change in the pennies size, please compare Large cent (United States coin) & Cent (United States coin). Kinda borin, I know :) Joe I 01:14, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Wheat Penny[edit]

We need some discussion, and a picture of the old wheat-eared cent in here. ColinKennedy 18:53, 31 March 2006 (UTC)


Why was this moved from Penny (U.S. coin)? I understand that "cent" is the official name, but we have nickel (United States coin) and not Five-cent (United States coin) and Quarter (United States coin) not Quarter-Dollar (United States coin). For that matter, the Canadian equivalent is at Penny (Canadian coin) Nik42 02:37, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Unless the Canadian coin is officially called a "penny" -- and due to the history of British involvement in Canada, it wouldn't surprise me if that had been the case once upon a time -- it should *also* be moved to Cent (Canadian coin).
"Nickel" and "Quarter" are official names for those respective coins in the United States.--chris.lawson 04:36, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
The US mint's page sometimes uses Quarter and sometimes Quarter-Dollar. At any rate, the point is, it seems to me that the page should be at the most common name, which is Penny. And if you're going to move Penny (Canadian coin), you should also move all the other ones (Heck, they even use Loonie and not Dollar (Canadian coin)). Isn't it Wikipedia policy to use the most common name anyways? Nik42 06:52, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, nickel is NOT the official name. Though it is very common, and is even used on the Mint's web page, legislation uses the term "five-cent coin", see, for example, American 5-cent Coin Design Continuity Act Nik42 07:04, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
IMO, an encyclopedia should use the official name. Cent, not penny. Penny (United States Coin) should redirect to Cent (United States Coin). Along those lines, Nickel should probably be 5 Cents (United States Coin) with the nickel page redirecting to it and Quarter (United States Coin) should be Quarter Dollar (United States Coin) with the quarter page redirecting to it. Bobby 15:37, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
That is, as you say, your opinion. However, on Wikipedia, the rule is that the most commonly used name is used. The principle is that an article's name should reflect what the reader is most likely to enter into a search engine. If we always used official terminology, we'd introduce yet another opportunity for bias. sebmol 13:04, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
We have this Wikipedia:WikiProject Numismatics/Style, which fails to mention common names on the front page. And no, that is not "official" wikipedia policy, tho it was talked about sending it there...Anyways, there may be some conversations on the talk page or this talk page. Penny and Cent are almost head-to-head when it comes to being the common name, so with a tie, it should go to the official name. As for the others, quarters, nickel, those are common names and wikipedia is to obbsesed with google too falter from that :) Joe I 14:45, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
This really has nothing to do with google. The coin is called a penny by everyone I've ever heard refer to it that wasn't related to the mint or numismatics organization (and I don't know very many of the latter). Likewise, I don't know anyone that calls a penny a "cent coin" or a "one cent coin" because a cent is one hundredth of a dollar, a penny is a copper-looking small coin worth a penny (sort of, leaving material value aside). There's nothing inherently better about an official title other than that it's what is recommended by the government. In fact, preferring official over common names introduces yet another bias (in this case in favor of government policy). sebmol 02:41, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

At any rate, it's inconsistent to have Cent (United States coin) but Nickel (United States coin). I'd prefer the overwhelmingly common name "penny". Cent, in my experience, is used almost exclusively by coin-collectors Nik42 04:38, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Does it say "penny" anywhere on the coin? No. Because it is not a penny. It is a cent. We don't have pennies in America. The only place you'll find pennies is in the U.K. Seems to me if the mint had wanted the coin to be called "penny," it would have used the word penny instead of cent. "Penny" is a slang term for U.S. cents, and should not be used in the title of an encyclopedia article. It doesn't matter what people call them; the title of the article should be "Cent." Sd31263 (talk) 01:34, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Source needed[edit]

Profit — The Mint has historically earned about $20 million a year on pennies, though it currently makes a loss." Someone get a source on that?

I don't have one, but it's a fairly easy fact to derive based on historical copper prices and mintage figures. Whether that falls under the definition of original research is debatable, but I would lean toward keeping it, as anyone with a calculator and an Internet connection could verify its truth in 20 minutes.--chris.lawson 01:55, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Here's a link to the us govt mint website showing it cost .81 cents to make a penny in 2000 The price of zinc has increased more than 6x (on the LME) since then, closing at $1.8956 last night (Oct 27 2006). I conclude that it's going to cost a lot more than a cent to make a penny now.
Actually amazingly enough the zinc in a penny is now worth slightly over 1 cent! - Anonymous Zinc Investor.


The article (under Arguments for preservation) imples all rounding will be in the favour of the seller. A CNN article on the subject imples rounding will be to the nearest 5c. When Australia eliminated the 1c and 2c pieces all rounding was in the buyer's favour for 6 months (a government directive to encourage community acceptance). Thereafter all rounding was to the nearest 5c.

A source on the method of rounding should be available somewhere Robert Brockway 23:06, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

HELP ME![edit]

I need an article about those penny rolls. They also come in other varieties. THE ROLLS! 50¢ for pennies, $2 for nickels, $5 for dimes, and $10 for quarters! PLEASE HELP ME! WHAT ARE THOSE CALLED AND IS THERE AN ARTICLE ABOUT THEM?

As far as I know, they're just called "penny rolls", "nickel rolls", etc. Half-dollars come in $10 rolls and dollar coins come in $25 rolls. Nik42 09:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Yeah... I know. But is there an article about them? (BTW, I'm not a user on Wikipedia)

I believe they're called "coin wrappers". If there isn't an article about them, go start one... :)
This should probably be noted in coin. -- Scott e 05:57, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Composition in 2009[edit]

The table states that pennies in 2009 will be bronze, and refers to the Presidential $1 coin act. However, that article states that there will be numismatic cents released in bronze, but implies that the rest will still be made in the same way. Also, the 2008 and 2010 listings are inconsistant. I'm going to change it and refer to the discussion, but feel free to correct me if you know more about it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:06, 2 October 2006

From the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 "In 2009, numismatic cents that have the metallic copper content of cents minted in 1909 will be issued for collectors."
This is not a composition change, this is a small number of special coins that will be sold to collectors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:06, 6 February 2007

The Composition table states that from 1982 – present, the penny has been minted of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. There is a distinct difference in weight from the pre-2010 penny (Lincoln Memorial on back) to the new “shield” penny of 2010. So the composition must have been changed to explain this weight change (since the size and thickness is still the same). This should be reflected in the table.(Or maybe I'm missing something.) (talk) 23:28, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Origin of penny[edit]

Is it officially called the cent because "penny" used to refer to the £sd sysem that the US abandoned in pioneering decimalized currency? --SirChan 04:11, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

"Penny" is short for pence, a British term. For some reason it has stuck even though the U.S. Cent is called a Cent and not a penny, officially. Lincoln F. Stern 00:44, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Penny has two syllables,pence has one and both have five letters so how is penny "short" for pence? (talk) 14:20, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

"Pence" is the plural form of penny. Twelve pence (12 pennies) equalled a shilling in pre-decimal era Britain. Sd31263 (talk) 01:41, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

1993 Design Change[edit]

It has recently come to my attention that between 1992 and 1993 the U.S. Mint (or Treasury?) instituted a slight change on the reverse of the cent. The "AM" in America were brought so close together as to be almost touching. At the same time, the initials "FG" were moved slightly away from the base of the Lincoln Memorial. A small number of cents minted in 1998, 1999, and 2000 were inadvertently reverted to the older design, and now have high values among coin collectors.

Is any of this information worth including here? I thought I should let someone with more experience confirm so large an addition. My sources are my own observations about the change and Ken Potter’s and’s observations about the rarities. Sarregouset (Talk) 00:17, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

There have been a few minor changes over the years. A couple books on the U.S. Cent go into detail. For example, in 1960 there are Large Date and Small Date varieties. Lincoln F. Stern 00:46, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore, the "Close AM" vs. "Wide AM" happened with '92 P(no mintmark) and D cents, '98 P(no mintmark) and S cents, '99 P(no mintmark) and S cents, and 2000 P(no mintmark). Lincoln F. Stern 00:51, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Interesting link[edit]

I just found this, but don't know its, um, true value. Xiner (talk, email) 18:23, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Most likely, it's worth $0.01 overall, unless it's in GREAT condition. Ask a coin dealer. BratmanGodzilla (talk) 16:22, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

You found one too, Xiner? Me too! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aruda556 (talkcontribs) 23:55, 14 December 2010 (UTC)


[1] --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 10:11, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Penny squishing machines[edit]

Is there a WP article on those machines at touristy places that smash a penny into an oval to press in some kind of design? Cburnett 02:08, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

If you haven't found it yet, the page you are looking for is Elongated_coin Lorax 02:33, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


I found a penny on the ground yesterday and what I found strange is that it was looking like it was made of some sort of bluish grey copper, but the year is 1980. If someone know something, thanks to respond. Freedom Fighter 1988 02:23, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Did you pick up the penny? Did you have luck all day long? 18:58, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

No, not really. Why?Freedom Fighter 1988 06:19, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

(lol) Most likely the Cent you picked up had become discolored by coming in contact with some chemical. You can always take your coin to a coin shop and ask them. Lincoln F. Stern 00:53, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Zinc toxicity[edit]

I think a clear and up-front link should be provided from this US cent web-page to the toxicity section under the general 'Zinc' heading in Wikipedia. As a veterinarian, I can tell folks that zinc toxicity is a MAJOR problem, potentially fatal, in dogs and to a lesser extent cats, and that the major cause is ingestion of US pennies....even one penny can be fatal. I've treated a good number of these patients, not all successfully. Interestingly, it is only pennies, 'cos they're the only coins with any appreciable zinc content, and only post-1982 US pennies. Personally, I hope the price of copper gets cheaper than zinc, so we can get back to the old days of copper pennies.... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:03, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I find it amusing that a veterinarian uses the term "'cos" 18:55, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Instead of jumping on someone for using a common word shortening, let's actually respect what people have to say. brings up a good point. I've added a section about Toxicity. -kotra (talk) 18:19, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
If someone could provide a source article, then that data should be put on the page. Lincoln F. Stern 00:54, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Density vs Volume vs Composition[edit]

Based on the dimensions given, it appears that the volume and mass as specified for the penny would have a density substantially lower than that of zinc or copper. Not too sure if I did the math right but the density of the dimensions given would put the coin at 5.66 g/cm3. Zinc has a density of 7.14 g/cm3 and copper of 8.96 g/cm3. Can someone please verify that the dimensions/mass of the penny does match its composition. Zambani (talk) 17:04, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

mass of 3.11 g / 2.50 g, diameter of 19.00 mm / 19.05 mm and density of ~ 8.87 g/cm³ / 7.19 g/cm³ will give average thicknesses of 1.24 mm and 1.22 mm. That's indeed much less than the given maximum thickness of 1.55 mm (Coins_of_the_United_States_dollar#Coins_in_circulation). --androl (talk) 20:35, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

2009 Design[edit]

The approved reverse designes for the 2009 series are available on the US mint website. Is it appropriate to add to this article? DAWGinRoswell 12:26, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Absolutely, and the images from the US mint should be uploadable as {{PD-USGov-money}}. –Sarregouset (talk) 23:23, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was consensus for move per our policy on using common names. Much of the opposes have been discounted as based on the idea that the subject should be at the official name and, as shown, that doesn't even appear to be the case, even were it dispositive. The argument that cent=value while penny=coin is a final nail in the coffin.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 01:08, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Cent (United States coin)Penny (United States coin) — I'm surprised this hasn't been discussed but once, halfheartedly three and a half years ago. Google searches are obviously completely meaningless in this case, so I have to appeal to common usage (if not common sense). Nobody's asking "Hey, have you seen the new 2009 cents?" They're asking "Hey, have you seen the new 2009 pennies? I deal with money in my line of work, and the rolls of pennies I sometimes handle (when rolled in paper) say just that on the outside, pennies. Not "cents." That "cent" is the US Mint's official name for this coin absolutely should be mentioned in the article, but it shouldn't outweigh as a title what's far and away the more common name. It was moved without any edit summary almost four years ago, and I'm not sure I buy the argument that since no one has requested to move it back in that time that it shouldn't be moved now. Furthermore, Nickel (United States coin) does not appear to be at the Mint's official name for the coin, per legislation such as American 5-cent Coin Design Continuity Act and the fact that, like the penny, the word "nickel" does not appear on the coin. By extension, we're probably not using the Mint's official name for Quarter (United States coin) either. While I would prefer this article simply be moved to Penny (United States coin), if we are to use the Mint's official names for each coin, let's do that instead of official for one and colloquial for others. Alex finds herself awake at night (Talk · What keeps her up) 09:16, 12 October 2009 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME. The denomination is a cent but the name of the coin is 'penny'. --RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 12:30, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Penny is the common name of the coin and that should be name of the article ~~ GB fan ~~ talk 15:46, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Cent is the technical name and offers no confusion. I believe that WP:COMMONNAME was designed to avoid confusion. I agree with Bobby, also.--camr nag 16:55, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Naming the article with what is basically adopted slang instead of the proper name, in my opinion, would be irresponsible. Bobby I'm Here, Are You There? 18:31, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia titles tend to reflect the most commonly used name, even if it's "slang" (and I would argue that "penny" is not slang), rather than some nebulous conception of what is the "proper" name, or the "official" name. --Born2cycle (talk) 04:44, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support "Penny" is by-far the most common name. For those saying "Cent" is the correct term, WRONG. From the U.S. Treasury's official site, the name is technically "One cent piece" [2], so that eliminates the "use the official name" argument. The Treasury department even says "Penny" is the most common term for it and that both they and the US Mint frequently use the term BECAUSE that is what the coin is most known as [3]. Since even the US Treasury admits it is the most common name, and "Cent" is not even the correct name of the coin, it should be moved (either to the correct name of "One cent piece" or the most common name of "Penny"). TJ Spyke 20:50, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME. Don't confuse the denomination with the name of the coin. — AjaxSmack 22:35, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per AjaxSmack --Born2cycle (talk) 04:41, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, as "Penny" is clearly the most commonly used name. The official name should, of course, be mentioned, but WP:COMMONNAME makes the answer clear. Rhindle The Red (talk) 12:34, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Cent is the proper term. Georgia guy (talk) 21:47, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    • How? It's not the official name or the common name, so how is it the "proper term"? TJ Spyke 14:58, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
      • Penny is a popular nickname. Georgia guy (talk) 17:18, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
        • Which even the US Treasury and US Mint uses since they admit its the most common name for the coin. Also, "Cent" is NOT the official name of the coin (the official name is "One cent piece"). Since "Cent" is not the official name and it's not the common name, how could it be the "proper" name? TJ Spyke 19:32, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
          • Cent is short for one-cent-coin, just as George W. Bush is short for George Walker Bush. Penny for the coin is like Dubya for George Bush. Georgia guy (talk) 21:23, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
            • Not even close. "Cent" is not the correct name of the coin, nor is it the common name (which even the Treasury and Mint uses), so there is no legit reason to have the article stay at this name. The article should either be at the official name of the coin or the most popular common name. "Cent" is not the proper term, any way you look at it. TJ Spyke 21:45, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
              • Yes, "cent" is merely a reference to the value of a penny, but not to the coin itself. If one says "I have three cents in my hand", that can mean three pennies, or a check written out to cash for a value of three cents ($.03). But "I have three pennies in my hand" is definitive about referring to the actual coins. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:00, 20 October 2009 (UTC)


Any additional comments: Alex finds herself awake at night (Talk · What keeps her up) 09:16, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Copper front; silver back[edit]

Is the back of the 2010 cent really silver?? Georgia guy (talk) 21:45, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

1944 zinc plated copper penny[edit]

Redcobra3844 (talk) 21:52, 13 February 2010 (UTC) I have a 1944 zinc plated copper penny not the shell casing type. It is magnetic but not the same as the 1943. It is in very good shape. is there any data on this type of coin.

You should bring your coin to a shop to see if it is fake or not, the two main ways to tell if you have a genuine 1944 steel cent is if 1. it is magnetic and 2. if the size and weight are right. Your penny could also just be a dipped coin (Someone along the line dipped the coin in metal giving its steel like color). I do not think there any any wikipedia articles relating to coin dipping. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:55, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I have tons of the dipped kind. Seems to come from Mexicali, as that's where my Mexican amigo gets these for me. I don't know the origins of these, and, of course, ain't worth more than a cent. I also have quarters dipped in gold, and a silver dollar dipped in candle wax. (Don't ask.) BratmanGodzilla (talk) 16:24, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

physical properties of pennies[edit]

What sources are there of physical properties of pennies, such as density, thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity?- (talk) 13:02, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

number minted per year[edit]

Please add details about the number minted per year.- (talk) 13:03, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Propose Lincoln cent article[edit]

This article, frankly, is a bit of a mess. It is almost entirely about the Lincoln cent, and Lincoln cent is a redirect here. Surely much of this matter can be placed into a specialized aritcle on the Lincoln cent, together with information about how it came to be, etc? After all, we have articles Indian cent and Flying Eagle cent. A coin series that has lasted 101 years is surely notable.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:42, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Costs to make[edit]

Currently the article says: As of 2009, it cost the U.S. Mint 1.62 cents to make a penny, mostly because of the costs of the penny's materials and production

Uh, mostly? Apart from materials and production, what costs are there?Ordinary Person (talk) 13:44, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

There is the transportation cost of moving them from the mint to the Fed, and then to the individual banks. Almostfm (talk) 19:45, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Misleading note on the use of 'pence'[edit]

I have amended the mention of this, as the article oversimplified the matter. In British usage, the word pence is used for the plural of penny in the sense of a value or amount of money (e.g. A bar of chocolate costs fifty pence). However, pennies is used when counting coins (e.g. I found three pennies under the sofa). APW (talk) 20:59, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

As this terminology is completely unrelated to U.S. pennies, I have removed the superflous text from the introduction. (talk) 07:35, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

1976 Bicentennial penny[edit]

A Denver stamped Lincoln profile one cent coin has the Liberty Bell behind Abe's head, while the outline of the continental USA is within his sight is an addition to the Wiki description. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:09, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Those were commercially sold by novelty houses, they did not come from the mint that way.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:06, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Old blanks used in 1982?[edit]

I read in a coin collecting magazine that in 1982 all the leftover planchetts from previous alloy changes (kept just in case of changing back to a previous type) were run through the presses before beginning to run the copper plated zinc. That made 6 or 7 different compositions of 1982 cents in circulation. Bizzybody (talk) 19:18, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

That is true, 1982 Lincoln cents are sometimes seen in seven coin sets. You might want to look at the Lincoln cent article, which was overhauled recently to bring it to a high standard.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:23, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I only see those in two compositions, mostly copper and mostly zinc. The other varieties come from mint marks and large and small dates. I don't think that's what Bizzybody is talking about. I think he/she means even older blanks, right? BollyJeff || talk 20:11, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I see. No, I've never heard that and I doubt if they would. The Treasury spent twenty years fishing steel cents out of circulation; they weren't holding back any blanks.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:39, 5 June 2011 (UTC)


I reversed an edit calling for a citation of pennies never being called pence in the US, because they aren't - however, I do believe it was expressed in an unencyclopaedic manner. I don't think it needs a citation, but I would be happy to compromise to something along the lines of what it is now (occasionly called pence). (talk) 04:55, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

History of composition graph and weights[edit]

The History of composition should include more data. Specifically, it should at least include the different weights of the penny throughout the different years. That data is available throughout the article below, but not in an easy way to find. It belongs in the table!

In fact, all of the U.S. currency pages should have a table which holds the data in the right-column (mass/diameter/thickness/composition/years minted/pictures/etc), for each unique coin...

   -- Firebovine (talk) 02:53, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Coin World references[edit]

This article has a lot of references to Coin World, which I presume to be a numismatics journal, but they do not include links to the corresponding articles online. If such links are not available, I would imagine that there would be alternate online sources for many of the points covered in the article, just as U.S. Mint press releases or newspaper stories. Without access to the original sources, it is difficult to determine whether the source is being quoted/interpreted correctly, or to simply read further information on a particular point. Gordon P. Hemsley 16:29, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

pre 1793 pennies[edit]

Pawn Stars series season 3 episode 13 featured a "1776 Massachusetts Pine Tree Cent" (though it turned out to be a fake). Yet there is no mention in this article. What exactly is that coin? (talk) 19:21, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

The manufacturing basics - missing.[edit]

The basics- how the cent is made, are nowhere to be found. Why? The basics- what the size of the various cent pieces have been are also missing. Manufacturing Basics Who, What, Where, How, When - poorly addressed. (talk) 22:50, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

line chart of copper composition[edit]

A chart showing the copper composition over time would be nice, maybe along with the inflation-adjusted value of the copper. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 2 June 2014 (UTC)