Lucky Penny Day!
Today is National Penny Day. I have always picked up pennies no matter where I found them. I was a “penny pincher” in my younger days and I still like to stretch a penny. Sad thing is, pennies aren’t worth much these days and they cost more to make them than they are worth. I could say for sure that if they stopped making pennies, I would be sad. I always liked seeing Abraham Lincoln on the penny. He reminded me of my Grandfather who I miss quite a bit. My Papa looked like Abe Lincoln so they both carry a special place in my little heart.
The history of the penny is interesting (for me). From 1837 to 1857, the penny was made of bronze (95% copper and 5% tin and zinc). From 1857, the cent was made from 88% copper and 12% nickel. From 1864 until 1962, the penny was once again bronze except for the year of 1943 when it was made of zinc-coated steel due the war and needing copper. In 1962, the penny’s tin content, was removed and the metal composition became 95% copper and 5% zinc. In 1982, there was another change. It was then changed to 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper (copper plated zinc).
The penny’s original design was suggested by Ben Franklin. The neat thing about Abe Lincoln’s face on the penny is that Abe faces right where all the other faces on coins face left. More than 300 billion pennies have been minted since 1787.
Anyway, Lucky Penny Day is all about the fun in finding pennies. Growing up, we were always told that finding pennies were good luck. There was a saying then, “Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day; you have good luck.” This is a day where friends get together and walk around in hopes to find the “lucky penny.”
Some people believe that those who have passed before us will leave us a penny around to let us know they are okay and that they are either watching over us or they are with us. I know after my brother died, I would find pennies and look at the date. I was always very happy to find one with 1977 on it because that was the year he was born. Superstition has it that you should only pick up the penny when it is lying face up. I never really cared about superstition. I picked up the penny no matter how it was facing. Finding pennies always made me happy. So today, go out and try to find some pennies! Make it a family affair!
- Heather Carnes