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United States one cent coin

The United States one cent coin, commonly called a penny, is a unit of currency equaling one 1/100 of a United States dollar. Its current design features the profile of President Abraham Lincoln on the obverse and the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse. The Lincoln design has been in place since 1909. The original artist who executed Lincoln's portrait was Victor David Brenner.

Coins minted after 1982 consist of 97% zinc, 3% copper, and ones before that were 95% copper, 5% zinc. This was changed because the intrinsic value of the coin started to rise above one cent. In 1943, during the Second World War, they were made of steel (for a short time) plated with zinc to resist rust.

The cent has gone through several designs over its two-hundred year history. Initially, it was much larger than it is today, about the size of the current United States half dollar coin.

See also: United States coinage