Primarily, a penny is the smallest unit of currency in the United States. It has a value equivalent to only 0.01 of one U.S. dollar. Add to that, it has a diameter measuring 19.05mm and a thickness measuring 1.55mm. It is made up of 2 percent copper and 97.5 percent zinc. While the inside is made up of zinc, the copper is only used to cover it. It still features Abraham Lincoln, who was the 16th President of the United States. Here is a closer look at this coin including how much a penny weighs.
The Weight of a Penny
How much does a penny weigh? Comprised mainly of zinc and copper, the weight of the most recent version of the penny is 2.5 grams or 0.080 troy ounces. This kind of coin has been in existence since the middle parts of 1982. However, before that particular time, the penny used to weigh more at 3.11 grams. Although many people refer to this coin as a penny, its official name is cent under the United States Mint.
Additional Information and Other Important Details
Throughout U.S. history, the penny experienced numerous compositional changes. From 1793 to 1857, it was made up of pure copper. From 1857 to 1864, the coin was comprised of 12 percent nickel and 88 percent copper. From 1864 to 1942, the coin was made up of zinc, 5 percent tin, 95 percent copper and bronze. In 1943, it was made up of steel and was coated with zinc. From 1944 to 1946, it contained 5 percent zinc and 95 percent copper. From 1946 to 1962, it was made from zinc, tin and copper. From 1962 to 1982, the combination of 5 percent zinc and 95 percent copper was used once again.
The year 2009 is important in the history of the penny. This time will mark the beginning of a commemorative program that will highlight the centennial anniversary of the time when the image of Lincoln was featured on the surface of the cent. This year will also mark the 200th birth anniversary of the 16th U.S. President.
The decision to redesign the coin is part of the so-called Presidential $1 Coin Program. The new coins will feature historical events such as the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, his professional life in Illinois as well as his formative years in the state of Indiana. The last design will feature the childhood of Lincoln in Kentucky.