U.S. Small Cents

U.S. Small Cents

History of the U.S. Penny

U.S. small cents, or pennies, first appeared in 1856 with the Flying Eagle design, a shift from the larger Large Cent.

The Indian Head cent followed in 1859, featuring Lady Liberty in a Native American headdress, and remained in circulation until 1909.

The Lincoln Wheat penny was introduced in 1909 to honor Abraham Lincoln's centennial, featuring his portrait which is still used today.

In 1959, the Lincoln Memorial design replaced the wheat ears, and this was updated in 2009 with the Lincoln Bicentennial series showcasing different stages of Lincoln's life.

Since 2010, the Union Shield has been the standard reverse design.

Throughout its history, the penny's composition has changed, most notably during World War II to a zinc coated steel in 1943, and then in 1982 when it switched from primarily copper to zinc with a copper plating.

Collectors value early editions, wartime steel cents, and the various commemorative reverses as part of American numismatic heritage.

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1958-P Lincoln Wheat Cent
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1957-D Lincoln Wheat Cent
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1957-P Lincoln Wheat Cent
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