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What Year Did The U.S. Not Print Any Pennies?

National Lost Penny Day is an annually recurring event observed on February 12. Mostly pennies are useless metal currency coins that neither fit in your wallet nor your purse. Often they will slip out of your pocket, wallet, or purse, and it’s quite unlikely you will find them again.

This day is dedicated to making an effort out of your busy routine to find the lost penny that may have slipped under the sofa or the car seat. Finding your lost penny is quite a good sign, and for this reason, it has its dedicated day.

  • 1787 – The first penny ever was designed by Benjamin Franklin and minted in 1787.
  • 1787 – Since 1787, the designs of the penny have changed 11 times.
  • 1793 – Pennies were the very first coins minted in the United States. In March 1793, the mint distributed 11,178 copper cents.
  • 1815 – This is one year you’ll never see on an authentic U.S. one-cent coin: 1815. That’s because we used to get the copper for them from an English supplier, but the War of 1812 that pitted us against the U.K. stopped those shipments.
  • The Mint ran out of copper in late 1814, and by the time shipments resumed in late 1815, it was too late to mint pennies with 1815 on them.
  • 1857 – The early “pennies” were 29 millimeters wide, or roughly the size of a modern half dollar. These so-called “large cents” were made until 1857, and are still popular with coin collectors.
  • 1909 – The penny we’re familiar with today, however, adorned with the bust of late American president Abraham Lincoln, was first minted in 1909 and released on February 12th to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth.
  • 1909 – Designed by Victor David Brenner with Lincoln’s familiar portrait on the “head’s side” and two wheat stalks on the “tails side.”  His initials V.D.B. were on a limited quantity of the 1909 pennies making it one of the most sought-after pennies for collecting.
  • 1959 – the wheat design was replaced with an image of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • 1995 – The first National Lost Penny Day is celebrated in 1995.
  • 2013 – the U.S. faced a loss of $55 million while minting the pennies.
  • 2018 – A penny costs 1.5 cents to manufacture.  Between production costs and shipping, the one-cent coin costs $0.015 each. This comes to $69 million in losses compared to their total value.
  • 2026 – 56% of coin experts think the penny will be phased out of circulation by 2026, according to a 2015 survey, which noted the U.S. Mint currently loses more than $50 million a year on pennies due to rising metal prices pushing the cost of making the mostly zinc coins to about 1.5 cents apiece.
  • Abraham Lincoln was the first historical figure to be on a U.S. coin.
  • The first design for the penny had the inscription “Mind Your Business”.
  • It’s actually not called a “penny.” The official name is the “one-cent” coin. The word “penny” came from the British denomination of the same name.
  • The modern one-cent coin is composed mainly of zinc with a copper coating
  • 16 pennies stacked equals 1 inch and 16 pennies in a line equals 1 foot. Depending on the age of the pennies, your mileage may vary as wear and tear could affect the thickness.
  • Approximately 30 million pennies per day (1,040 pennies every second) are produced. Each year, the U.S. Mint produces more than 13 billion pennies.
  • There are more than 130 billion one-cent coins currently in circulation.
  • Since its beginning, the U.S. Mint has produced more than 288.7 billion pennies. Lined up edge to edge, these pennies would circle the earth 137 times.
  • During its early penny-making years, the U.S. Mint was so short on copper that it accepted copper utensils, nails and scrap from the public to melt down for the coins.
  • The average penny lasts 25 years!
  • The Lincoln penny was the first cent on which appeared the words, “In God We Trust.”
  • More than two-thirds of all coins produced by the U.S. Mint are pennies.
  • The penny is biased such that by spinning it, the chances of it landing on tails is 80%

Sources:

Days of the Year

Market Watch

Coins The Fun Times Guide

Bankrate

QZ

15Facts

National Today