How Are Pennies Made?

Save

The Sense of Cents

  • Though it's not worth as much today as it used to be, the American penny has endured throughout history to become a symbol of the United States economy. With the venerable visage of President Abraham Lincoln (arguably history's most beloved President) looking out from the copper finish, the penny represents not only the perseverance of character and liberty, but hearkens back to a simpler time.

The Changing Penny

  • The penny has been around since 1792, though it has undergone a number of changes since then. Back then, the penny was made completely of copper. Today, pure copper would make the manufacture of a penny cost-prohibitive. As logic would dictate, a coin cannot be worth more in raw material than its face value. For that reason, today's pennies are made of a special mixture of copper, nickel, and zinc. The bronze coloring that results gives the penny a remarkably "copper" appearance, even if the total copper content is much less than it used to be.

How The Penny is Forged

  • While the penny may have changed over the years, the process by which the coin is made has changed very little. Certainly, in today's mints, computers and digital technology have made laborious processes more streamlined and have cut the costs, but the general process has remained much the same.

    The mint prepares three models, made in turn of wax, plaster of Paris, and epoxy. The bronze metal mixture is then prepared by machinery, which cuts the metal first into strips, and then into round coin shapes. They are then sent to a second machine for the upsetting process, which gives the coins the slightly raised rim we are used to seeing. Finally, they are combined with the models to be stamped with the designs that give us Lincoln on the front and the Lincoln Memorial on the back (as well as the date, "In God We Trust", and so on). The pennies are washed, polished, and dried, and finally pressed with metal dies. The end result is the penny as we all know it.

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • What Are Converse Shoes Made Out of Today?

    Converse is a shoe company that started early in the 20th century as a manufacturer of rubber-soled footwear. The styles of the...

  • What Are the Most Valuable Wheat Pennies?

    Wheat pennies were the first version of the Lincoln penny, minted from 1909 to 1958. Because they are no longer being produced,...

  • How to Clean Wheat Pennies

    Wheat pennies were made between 1909 and 1958, and they vary in worth. Most created before 1942 were made of almost pure...

  • What Cleans a Penny Best?

    Years of use will turn the shiniest copper penny into a dull, dingy coin. A wide range of methods cleans pennies and...

  • 10 Facts About Pennies

    The penny, first produced in 1787, was the first official currency authorized by a newly formed United States. Benjamin Franklin came up...

  • Jewelry Made From Pennies

    Pennies cost more to produce, at 1.4 cents a piece, than they are worth. According to Jeff Gore, an MIT physicist, people...

Related Searches

Check It Out

Are You Really Getting A Deal From Discount Stores?

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!