We see pennies every day, but how much do you know about them?
See if you can answer these questions about pennies.
1. For how many years has the Lincoln penny been made?
Almost 100. The first ones were introduced in 1909 to mark the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. They were the first US circulating coins to bear a president's image.
2. What design was on the penny before Lincoln's head?
From 1859 to 1909, the head of an Indian man was on the obverse of the US penny. (The side of a coin with the main design – the one you would call "heads" – is the obverse. The "tails" side is the reverse.)
3. Can you find the initials of the person who sculpted the likeness of Lincoln on the penny? The sculptor's name was Victor D. Brenner.
If you use a magnifying glass to look at a new penny, you can find the initials VDB at the bottom of Lincoln's right shoulder.
4. What is the building on the reverse of the Lincoln penny?
It is the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Look closely between the two center columns of the memorial to see if you can find the seated statue of Lincoln.
5. How much is a penny worth?
In a store, a penny is worth 1/100th of a dollar. But certain pennies are worth more to collectors, depending on their condition, and when and where they were made.
A recent newspaper article reported that a New York coin expert had deliberately put three rare pennies – worth a total of $1,500 – into circulation, "to put a little magic into everyday life."
So start checking the dates you see on those pennies that pass through your hands every day. You never know what you might find. Good hunting!