What Is 1 Million Pennies In Dollars?

Benjamin Franklin, a founding father, reportedly remarked, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” How much cash would you have if you managed to save a million pennies? The value of a million pennies is $10,000. You would definitely need years to accumulate that much money in pennies. Read on for the fascinating history of the US one-cent coin as you make your savings plan.

Why Do They Have the Name “Pennies”?

Why do we refer to these coins as “pennies” when their actual name in America is “one-cent piece”? Over 1,000 years have passed since the invention of the penny in numerous nations and cultures. In other languages, the word “penny,” which has various variations, originally referred to a coin with a low value.

Even though our pennies are one-cent coins, the moniker “penny” has persisted, and people still refer to the currency as such across the country today.

The Background to the Penny

George Washington, the first president of the United States, approved the penny as the nation’s first coin. Benjamin Franklin created the original penny’s design, which featured a sundial with the Latin word “Fugio,” which means “I fly,” and the words “Mind Your Business” on the obverse, or front side, and a 13-link chain symbolising the original United States and the phrase “We Are One” on the reverse, or back side.

Later designs have different depictions of a woman representing Liberty on the obverse and different patterns on the reverse. The penny’s dimensions also evolved over time, until the “Flying Eagle” design in the middle of the 1850s gave it a significant makeover and reduced it to a size that is quite similar to that of the penny today.

A tribute to the 16th President

A new cent design honouring Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday was suggested by American President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909. Lincoln was the first president to be honoured on a coin in the United States, and other coins soon followed suit.

Abraham Lincoln was honoured on both sides of the penny from 1959 to 2008, with a profile of his face on the front face and a picture of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on the back. In 2009, a shield was added to a new design on the opposite side.

An Individual Look

The penny has had a very distinct appearance from the other American coins for the majority of its history. The earliest pennies had a characteristic reddish copper appearance since the U.S. Mint started producing them from pure copper. The Mint produced pennies from alternate materials as the price of copper fluctuated while maintaining their distinctive appearance.

The United States produced pennies out of steel for one year in 1943 because it lacked copper for its World War II munitions. The following year, America switched back to pennies that looked like copper because the steel pennies were so similar to other coins they were frequently mistaken for dimes.

A High-Priced Coin

Because copper is far more expensive than it once was, the United States only uses a small amount of it to create pennies. In reality, copper only makes up 2.5% of a cent. However, even with as much copper used, producing pennies is more expensive than they are worth. The cost of producing a penny is higher than that of a one cent coin, at 1.8 cents.

Should We Stop Using the Penny?

A campaign to abolish the penny has arisen as a result of the cost of producing pennies. The argument against keeping pennies is that they are expensive to produce and have a negative impact on the environment due to the mining of zinc and copper. More people than any other coin lose or discard pennies.

Since 2008, American military bases have stopped using pennies and instead round costs to the closest nickel. According to those who favour doing away with pennies, all Americans might make the same decision.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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