Penny (United States Coin)
The United States one-cent coin, commonly known as a penny, is a unit of currency equaling one one-hundredth of a United States dollar. The cent's symbol is ¢. Its obverse has featured the profile of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909, the centennial of his birth. From 1959 (the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's birth) to 2008, the reverse featured the Lincoln Memorial. Four different reverse designs in 2009 honored Lincoln's 200th birthday and a new, permanent reverse - the Union Shield - was introduced in 2010. The coin is 0.75 inches (19.05 mm) in diameter and 0.061 inches (1.55 mm) in thickness.
The U.S. Mint's official name for a penny is "cent" and the U.S. Treasury's official name is "one cent piece". The colloquial term penny derives from the British coin of the same name, the pre-decimal version of which had a similar value. In American English, pennies is the plural form, other plural forms pence and pee (standard use in British English) are not used.
As of 2012, it costs the U.S. Mint 2.41 cents to make a cent because of the cost of materials and production. This figure includes the Mint’s fixed components for distribution and fabrication, estimated at $13 million in FY 2011. It also includes Mint overhead allocated to the penny, which was $17.7 million for 2011. Fixed costs and overhead would have to be absorbed by other circulating coins without the penny. The loss in profitability due to producing the one cent coin in the United States for the year of 2011 is $60,200,000. This is an increase from 2010, the year before, which had a production loss of $27,400,000.
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... The US Mint reported that in fiscal year 2010 the unit cost of producing and shipping one-cent coins was $0.0179 - more than the face value of the coin ... By 2012, this figure increased to $0.0241 because of the cost of materials and production ...