Nugget of Knowledge: Penny facts

Abe Lincoln has been on the penny since 1909

Nugget of Knowledge

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Since the United States started minting pennies in 1787, it has produced some 300 billion. Thursday, there are 150 billion in circulation, enough to circle the Earth 137 times.

Abe Lincoln has been on the penny since 1909, but the coin had 10 designs before that, including the Indian Head penny.

The princess on the Indian head penny was neither a Native American nor a princess but simply the sculptor’s daughter, Sarah Longacre.

Look at the faces on our coins. The penny, the nickel, the dime and the quarter all face left. Lincoln on the penny faces right.

Is there a hidden meaning here?

No, the sculptor of the Lincoln penny, Victor David Brenner, says he worked from a photo of Lincoln facing right. It’s as simple as that.

Take a magnifying glass and find the initials of the sculptors. Since 1959, FG for Frank Gasparro has been near the shrubbery by the Lincoln Memorial. VDB, Victor David Brenner, is beneath Lincoln’s shoulder.

The penny has shrunk. When it first appeared in 1787, it was twice as wide as it is today.

Watch for a 1943 copper penny. There are about 40 that we know of in existence. You can get at least $100,000 for one.

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