Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Recent changes in U.S. currency turn heads and require the facilitation of special pens and charts due to the subtle differences in paper bills. The composition of coins steadily change from their original purities of silver, nickel, and copper, making early minted copies much sought-after in the collector’s arena. The beloved penny – forever a favorite of children and, the denomination allowing exact change to be made to one one-hundredth of a dollar made its now-famous debut in August 1909. The likeness of Abraham Lincoln was introduced that year – the first time a portrait appeared on a regular U.S. coin. This copper trading piece was designed by Victor David Brenner, whose initials appeared on the back. When his initials were later removed, those first 484,000 initialed one-cent pieces minted in San Francisco have been sold for thousands of dollars each. Today, despite repeated congressional attempts to abolish it, the penny – which is now a mere 2.5% copper – remains change in our pockets.

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