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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Coin Collectors -- HEADS UP!!

sorry for the pun ... couldn't resist.
Okay first it was the quarters ... then it was the nickel (or didn't any of you notice?) ... now the penny will be getting the make over.
Actually I have hope for this one -- because the government has been trying for decades now to get rid of the penny because they can't see the point of it ... but anyone who has ever been tight or strapped for money (like college kids) then they know the importance of the penny.
PLUS - where would the school system be without the penny? They use the coinage to teach concepts more than just money issues -- they use it to teach the metric system as well, after all it is based on the same 1/10th scale ... it can be used to teach base 10 math - base 5 math as well.
Between the new coin, the 200th birthday of Lincoln, and the tighter economy -- this may be the savior of the Penny.
I love pennies.
Did you know that OFFICIALLY its not a penny? Its a "One Cent Coin"? People only called it a 'penny' because of the british influences on our culture?
Did you know that there was once a penny with NO copper at all, just steel? Because of shortages of copper during WW2 the government for a single year (1943) made the coins out of steel and coated them with zinc (like a chainlink fence) ... they are VERY rare and if you find one, even if its scratched up, you can get a pretty penny for it (oh look another pun ... hee hee)
Did you know that the penny with Lincoln's image has only been in existance since 1908? Well I suppose that is 100 yrs ...
But the coin itself has been made since 1793 .... but except for a single year it has always contained some level of copper.
Did you know that the high level of zince in the current pennies make them TOXIC? This means if your kid swallows a penny, instead of 'waiting for it to pass' as you could in the past you better get them to the dr and get it out ... it is FATAL to animals such as dogs.
Did you know that before 1982 that the metals used to make a single penny was worth more than the coin itself? The metal used was worth about 2 cents, while the coin was worth 1 cent ... just imagine what they would be worth today.
Did you know that the pre-1982 pennies are about the same weight as a quarter? I did not realize this until I was watching an old episode of "CSI:NY" ... Mac shows that if you rough up the edge of a pre-1982 penny, the modern parking meters read them as quarters and people can cheat them ... I don't condone this practice - in fact I'm against it - parking meters help to pay to keep the streets clean and helps keep down traffic problems ... PAY the proper price!
but I still love pennies. Maybe because we don't use them much so they 'add up' fast.
Maybe its because when I was a girl it was a sure thing that if dad had pennies in his pocket, I would get them ... or if it was the 'see a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck' ... or if it was the 'penny ante' poker that my parents & aunts liked to play ... or the neighborhood grocery store that still sold penny-candy when I was growing up.
Whatever the reason ....
I love pennies!

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