Penny for Your Thoughts

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Yesterday was Wednesday. Oops, I’m just now remembering that
was supposed to mean a post here on One Writer’s Journal. So here I am a day late and a dollar short.
Well, you never get a dollar’s worth anyway, but maybe a penny’s worth of this and that. A penny might not entice you to read on since a penny is so worthless these
days that some people won’t even lean down to pick one up off the ground and clerks wave you out
the door if you start digging in your change purse for that one penny extra you

Once upon a time, a penny was worth something. It was
actually made out of copper as early as 1793, but over the years the copper content
kept shrinking until it has almost  disappeared. A penny contains 97.5% zinc and
2.5% copper to give them their distinctive copper color. It isn’t only the
copper content that has shrunk since the early pennies, but the whole penny. The
original one-cent coin was five times heavier and almost half again as large as
our pennies today.  

Of course,
a penny probably could buy something back when it was the first currency of any type authorized by the U.S. government. And at the risk of all
of you deciding I’m ancient, I admit that I remember when a penny could
buy something. A piece of Double Bubble gum. A Dum Dum sucker. Some time on the
parking meter. Five pennies would get you a pretty big candy bar if you had a
sweet tooth. Twenty-six of them would buy a gallon of gas.  

Some think the penny has played its role and should be
phased out, but an overwhelming majority of Americans want to keep the penny. A
2012 poll found over two-thirds of those surveyed wanted to keep the penny even
if it has cost more to produce it than its face value since 2006. In 2011, it
cost 2.41 cents to make a penny. That’s probably gone up now. But we love our

We even think finding a penny
is lucky. Did you ever hear “Find a penny,
pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck?” Then there’s the
phrase “a penny for your thoughts.” That was first found in a 1547 collection
of contemporary English phrases compiled by John Heywood. And don’t forget about giving people your “two cents” worth – advice or opinion. Double that penny for your thoughts. 

Now some claim to find pennies from heaven. It’s a comfort to them after someone they
love dies when they find pennies in unusual places as though the coin was
planted there just for them. Pennies from heaven. 

Pennies are part of our history. For over two
centuries, the penny’s design has symbolized the spirit of the nation, from
Liberty to Lincoln. Since 1787, over 300 billion pennies with eleven different
designs have been minted. Now the 2010 Lincoln penny symbolizes President Lincoln’s
preservation of the United States as a single and united country.

So thanks for
reading and maybe I’ll remember it’s Wednesday next week. Meanwhile, if you
find a penny, you better pick it up and put it in your pocket. You give it to someone like me and you might get more than your penny’s worth of thoughts.

How do you feel
about the penny? Is it here to stay? Have you found pennies from heaven?

Remember, leave a
comment before March 1 to be entered into the drawing for Scent of Lilacs.