Coin Information

USD 1 Cent

Name of coin
Lincoln Cent
Year(s) Issued
Victor D. Brenner
Countries Issued in
United States
Face Value
0.01 USD
97.5% Zinc, 2.5% Copper

The United States one-cent coin is a unit of currency equaling one one-hundredth of a United States dollar, and is often called a penny, but the U.S. Mint's official name for this coin is cent. Its symbol is: ¢.


The cent's obverse has featured the profile of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909, the centennial of his birth. Since 1959 (the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's birth), the reverse has featured the Lincoln Memorial. The Cent replaced the Indian Head Cent and reverse replaced with the Memorial. In 2009, the 100th annevarsary began four new designs, one with his birth in Kentucky, later years in Indiana, professional skills in Illinois, then his presidency in Washington D.C.


Because the Lincoln contains 97.5 Zinc, it is advised that one doesn't digest these, causing stomach problems. Parrots can face serious poisoning and could lead to death.

Some cents are made of Steel from the 1940's, due to lack of copper for weapons of World War II. 40 copper cents, 12 which are proved, are considered extremely rare in the date of 1943 and should be shown to a professional for identification. Some are worth hundreds of thousands of United States Dollars. Aluminum was also used for currency in 1974, but was rejected because of health issues and coin failure. It is illegal to collect these certain coinage by the Secret Service. Double Die is another flaw in the cent history, Double die occures when a coin is printed twice. Some coins have double die, making the date, mint, and motto scrambled, but doesn't adjust Lincoln.


It has been suggested that the cent should be eliminated as a unit of currency for several reasons, including that many Americans do not actually spend them, but rather only receive them in change at stores and proceed to return them to a bank for higher denomination currencies, or cash them in at coin counting kiosks. Most modern vending machines do not accept cents, further diminishing their utility, and the production cost now exceeds the face value of the coin due to increasing metal prices. At the current metal prices, the pre-1982 copper cent contains 1.2 US cents of copper which makes them an attractive target for melting by people wanting to sell the metal as a profit. The US Mint, in anticipation of the business of melting down US cents and US five-cent coins for profit, implemented new regulations on 2006 which criminalize the melting of cents and nickels and place limits on export of the coins.


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