The history of the Penny goes back over 1,200 years, as the first pennies were made in England in 790 A.D. by an Anglo-Saxon king named Offa. The word “penny” and its variations across Europe, including the German “pfennig” and the Swedish “penning,” originally denoted any sort of coin or money, not just a small denomination. In fact, Great Britain is the only country to have a denomination that is officially called the penny. In the United States we have been calling our one-cent coins “pennies” for centuries, largely because our one-cent coin was inspired by the British penny. However, the one-cent coin or “cent” is the official name of the coins we endearingly call pennies today. Over 300 billion one-cent coins, with 11 different designs have been minted since 1787. The penny was the first currency authorized by the United States from the Mint Act of 1792 signed by George Washington. The design for this first one-cent coin was suggested by Benjamin Franklin, and for over two centuries, the penny's design has symbolized the spirit of the nation, from Liberty to Lincoln.

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