Infographic | 2:33 min read

10 Fun Facts about U.S. Coins


Coins have been around for centuries. In 1793, copper, silver, and gold coins made their way around the United States.

We use coins for many activities today – from penny wars, to tossing coins in fountains – coins can represent luck or wealth. These fundamental pieces of U.S. currency have been around for over 220 years. Here are some fun facts about U.S. coins:

  1. U.S. Coins previously contained gold, silver, and copper

    The U.S. Mint originally made coins with precious metals like gold and silver. Eventually, it became too costly to use these materials to create coins. Today, the U.S. Mint creates U.S. coins from Cupro-Nickel and Copper-plated Zinc.
  2. 2-cent and 3-cent coins used to exist

    Prior to 1873 and 1889, the U.S. used two and three cent coins because they were practical. However, as prices rose, the U.S. Mint discontinued the production of these particular coins.
  3. The “Eagle” was a $10 coin

    Centuries ago, the United States Mint created several “Eagle” coins that represented $2.50, $5, $10, and $20. A $2.50 “Eagle” was known as a quarter eagle. The $5 “Eagle” was called a half eagle, and the $20 coin was called a “Double Eagle.”
  4. Pennies can remain in circulation for 40 years

    Eventually the U.S. Mint will recycle coins, but a penny can last an average of 40 years in your wallet!
  5. Coins are harder to copy because of the ridged edges!

    During the era when coins were made of gold and silver, Isaac Newton introduced the concept of reeded edges to prevent individuals from tampering with or shaving off the edges to extract valuable metals.

    Fun facts about coins infographic
  6. The First Animal Featured on a Coin was an Eagle

    In 1794, an eagle appeared on a circulating coin as the primary animal symbol.

    The second animal was the bison, or buffalo, and it appeared on a nickel from 1913 to 1938.
  7. Pennies were Silver for one year

    During 1943, there was a copper shortage, so the U.S. Mint had to create pennies from zinc-coated steel. They looked very similar to dimes.
  8. The United States Mint makes the most coins in the world

    The U.S. Mint makes more coins and medals than any other mint in the world. It also made coins for other countries! The U.S. Mint last created coins for a foreign country in 1984, and now exclusively creates coins for the United States.
  9. President Lincoln was the first President on a coin

    Beginning in 1909, President Lincoln appeared on the one-cent coin, making him the first U.S. president to be featured on a coin.
  10. There are $10 Billion in coins sitting around the United States

    It’s estimated there’s about $10 Billion in coins across the U.S. just sitting in homes!

Looking for some extra money? Find a coin counter at our branch locations or a grocery store to exchange your change for cash! Before you go, consider if there is a fee associated with using a coin counter.

Check between couch cushions, your vehicle floorboard, in the washing machine or dryer, pockets of your clothes, or even old coat pockets, and bring it to a branch near you to convert into dollars! You might be surprised how much your spare change can total.


The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.