It seems as though there’s always something new to celebrate these days. National holidays have taken over social media and news outlets like some sort of big headline worth picking up the morning paper for. Thanks to this explosion of new holidays in recent years, even the humble penny gets a chance to shine once a year, and on April Fool’s Day no less. That’s right, April 1st is now recognized as National One Cent Day and is dedicated to the origin and history of the one-cent coin.
The penny has been in circulation as far back as 1793, though Abraham Lincoln’s profile didn’t appear on the American penny until 1909, nearly 115 years later. The term “penny” comes from the original English penny. The plural form of penny is known as pennies here in the United States, but the British uses the plural form pence. Today, pennies are often seen as a form of currency that’s not worth much and in fact, there have been debates about eliminating the denomination altogether. But for now, the penny is still around and it’s something to be celebrated because the humble penny has a thing or two to teach us about money and its value.
There are many interesting facts about the penny. Contrary to popular belief, the penny is not made entirely of copper. The American penny is actually made up of 97.5% zinc and only 2.5% copper. In the penny’s early years, different materials such as nails and scrap metals were used when copper was in short supply. The penny is also the first form of currency to bear the words, “In God We Trust” on it. The U.S. Mint produces over 13 billion pennies a year, with nearly 1,040 of them produced every second.
There are more than 130 billion pennies in circulation today. Though the penny is normally worth one cent, there are some extremely rare forms of the American penny that are worth thousands. For example, there exists somewhere a 1955 penny that has a “double-die date” that’s worth over $550. If you’re lucky enough to find one of these special 1955 pennies in new condition and without a single blemish on it, it could be worth up to $27,000.
Overall, the penny has a lot to teach us about money in general. No matter how small a denomination of currency is, when added up, it can grow to become a big benefit to you and your family. If an auto title loan is something you've been reaching out for to get out of a financial emergency, you may want to take a step back and learn how to properly budget your income to avoid such situations in the future. One of the most popular budgeting techniques teaches us to pay for things using cash and saving the left-over change in a jar throughout the course of the year. After a year has passed, you can wrap the quarters, nickels, dime, and pennies to see how much you have saved. This technique alone will show you how every penny matters and how in time, a penny can go a long, long way.