2020 Penny

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Copper Plated Zinc Penny

The congressman who tried to kill the penny. Jim Kolbe spent two decades trying to kill the penny. He's a former Republican congressman from Arizona, and he began his fight in the late 1980s.

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Minted at: Philadelphia (no mint mark)

Metal Composition: 97.5% Zinc - 2.5% Copper

Published July 29, 2020 Updated July 30. Penny proponents also argue that eliminating pennies would amount to a one-cent sales tax for consumers because prices that end in 99 cents are common. To ask a question, use this Dear Penny form or email email protected. (And don’t worry: I’ll always keep your questions anonymous.) Cheers to a safe, healthy, happy and (hopefully) less tricky 2021!-Penny. Your 10 Trickiest Questions for Dear Penny in 2020. Here are 10 of the trickiest money questions you asked in 2020.

Mass / Weight: 2.5 grams

What This Coin Looks Like (Obverse, Reverse, Mint Mark Location, Special Features, etc.):
Coin Value Chart: Typical Coin Prices, Values and Worth in USD based on Grade/Condition
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About Uncirculated

USA Coin Book Estimated Value of 2020 Lincoln Shield Penny is Worth $0.32 or more in Uncirculated (MS+) Mint Condition. Click here to Learn How to use Coin Price Charts. Also, click here to Learn About Grading Coins. The Melt Value shown below is how Valuable the Coin's Metal is Worth (bare minimum value of coin). Click here to see the Melt Value of every US Coin.
MELT VALUE: $0.0069
Even More Lincoln Shield Cent Penny Years/Mints/Varieties

9 items found

  • Seller: coppercountrycowboy
    Certification Agency: Other
    Condition: excellent condition
  • Seller: iamcopper
    Condition: UNSEARCHED
  • $1.75
    Seller: hobbyhaus
  • $0.99
    Seller: coinrat
    Condition: Uncirculated - From Mint Roll
  • Seller: cakman
    Condition: Brilliant Uncirculated
  • Seller: cakman
    Condition: Brilliant Uncirculated
  • Seller: Leyendecker
    Condition: BU
  • $0.60
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  • Seller: mbrothers02
    Condition: mint state

Circulating Coins
  • Year of Issue: 1793 to Present
  • Authorizing Legislation: Coinage Act of 1792


The “Union Shield” theme is the current design of the U.S. one-cent coin. The U.S. Mint first issued this design in 2010. The obverse (heads) shows the image of President Abraham Lincoln used on the penny since 1909. The shield on the reverse (tails) represents Lincoln’s preservation of the United States as a single country.

The penny was one of the first coins made by the U.S. Mint after its establishment in 1792. The design on the first penny was of a woman with flowing hair symbolizing liberty. The coin was larger and made of pure copper, while today’s smaller coin is made of copper and zinc.

Liberty stayed on the penny for more than 60 years. In 1857, the coin got smaller and the metal composition changed to 88% copper and 12% nickel. With these changes came new designs. In 1857 and 1858 the new coins featured a flying eagle on the obverse and a wreath on the reverse. The “Indian Head” design appeared from 1859 to 1909.

In 1909, Abraham Lincoln became the first president featured on our coins in honor of his 100th birthday. The Lincoln penny obverse showed the image of Lincoln designed by Victor David Brenner that is still used today. From 1909 to 1958 the reverse featured two sheaves of wheat. From 1959 to 2008, the reverse was an image of the Lincoln Memorial designed by Frank Gasparro to commemorate Lincoln’s 150th birthday.

In 2009, the Mint issued four different pennies throughout the year as part of the Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Program. The program recognized Lincoln’s 200th birthday and the 100th anniversary of the first Lincoln cent. The themes on the reverses represented the four major aspects of Lincoln’s life.

Unusual Pennies:

  • In 1943, pennies were made of zinc-coated steel because copper was needed during World War II.
  • At the beginning of 1943, a limited number of copper pennies were struck by mistake.
  • In honor of the Mint’s 225th anniversary in 2017, pennies made in Philadelphia had a “P” mint mark for the first time.
  • In 2019, the West Point Mint made special collectible pennies with a “W” mint mark.

Other Circulating Coins:

Nickel Dime Quarter Half Dollar

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Obverse (heads):2020 Penny Shows the familiar likeness of President Abraham Lincoln featured since 1909.
Reverse (tails): First issued in 2010 and emblematic of Lincoln’s preservation of the United States as a single and united country. It features a union shield with 13 vertical stripes and our national motto in a horizontal bar above. A banner drapes across the front.

Obverse Inscriptions

2020 Penny Coin

  • Year

Reverse Inscriptions


Mint and Mint Mark


CompositionWeightDiameterThicknessEdgeNo. of Reeds
Copper Plated Zinc
Balance Zn
2.500 g
19.05 mm
1.52 mmPlainN/A

Artist Information

  • Designer: Victor D. Brenner

2020 Penny Error

  • Sculptor: Joseph Menna, Medallic Artist
  • Designer: Lyndall Bass