Things You Didn’t Know About U.S. Coins

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Several coins are used in the United States, including nickel, penny, dime, and quarter. Coins from different eras provide vast information on what societies and civilizations held culturally significant. Such information includes the languages spoken in a particular geographical location to the metals valued at the time.

Depending on who or what is featured on the coin, it is easy to determine what was prized at the time. Coins have been around for more than 220 years, and here are fun facts you did not know about U.S. coins:

Originally, All Coins in the U.S. Were Copper, Silver, and Gold

Initially, the U.S. coins had their own worth because they were made of unique semi-precious or precious metals. The U.S. mint originally made coins from gold, silver, and copper. However, when the price of copper, silver, and gold exceeded the coin’s value, they were substituted with non-precious metals and alloys. Nowadays, coins are not made from gold and silver. Instead, copper-plated zinc and cupro-nickel are used.


Lincoln Was the First President to be Featured on a Coin

In 1909, President Lincoln appeared on the one-cent coin, making him the first U.S. president on a coin.


All U.S. Coins have Two Mottos

As per Federal law, all U.S. coins bear two mottos, i.e., ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (Translation: ‘Out of many, one’) and ‘In God We Trust.’


At Some Point, the U.S. Used 3-Cent and 2-Cent Coins

Coin minting in the U.S. started in 1792. Back then, a dollar was more valuable and had a higher purchasing power than today. Therefore, most people only needed a few coins to purchase everyday commodities such as food. However, inflation would later lead to the discontinuation of the 2-cent and 3-cent coins in 1873 and 1889, respectively.


The Ridged Edges Makes It Harder to Copy the Coins

Since coins were made from precious metals like gold and silver, the reeded edges were introduced to stop people from filing off edges (to retrieve precious metals) or altering the coins.


Eagle was the First Animal Featured on a Coin

While the eagle was featured on circulated coins in 1794, bison or buffalo appeared on the nickel as the second animal from 1913 – 1938.


Buy U.S. Coins from Golden Peaks Gold & Silver Today!

Ready to buy or sell U.S. coins? Please get started by visiting our store in Denver at 8966 W. Bowles Ave Unit N, Littleton, CO 80123. Need more information? Feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (720) 696-6750.