15 October 2010

The Lowly Penny

I often mock the lowly penny, and frequently leave them behind on counters, or just drop them in the street. But this new design is really cool! And I think kinda a good excuse to get you thinking about our currency. It'll be a subject of discussion here, once I defend selfishness and capitalism.

Some facts:
The penny is 2.5% copper and 97.5% zinc. In 1857, it was 88% copper and 12% nickel.

The penny has been a part of our circulating currency since 1793.

At that point, based on inflation, it was worth more than a dime is worth today (today you'd need $0.1245 to buy what a penny bought you in 1793)--suggesting we could get rid of both the penny and the nickel.

The 13 vertical stripes on the shield of the new design represent the 13 colonies--so our currency is clearly not triscadecaphobic.

The image of Lincoln on the "obverse" or heads side has been used since 1909.

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