13 October 2019
The weight of contemporary US cent (also known as a penny) is 2.5g whilst a British penny is 3.56g. Find out more about pennies and see the official specifications for both coins in our coin collecting guide.
How much does a US penny (or cent) weigh?
The current 'Lincoln' US cent, first issued in 1982, weighs 2.5 grams and is made of Copper Plated Zinc (5% zinc and 95% copper). The penny has a diameter of 0.75 inches (19.05 mm) and has a thickness of 1.52 mm.
Earlier versions of the coin weighed more, with the earliest coins being made of 100% copper, as detailed below:
- 1793–1795 cent – 13.48g
- 1795–1857 cent – 10.89g
- 1856–1864 cent – 4.67g
- 1864–1942 cent – 3.11g
- 1943 cent – 2.72g
- 1944–1946 cent – 3.11g
- 1947–1962 cent – 3.11g
- 1962–1982 cent – 3.11g
- 1982–present cent – 2.5g
How much does a British penny weigh?
The British one pence piece, introduced in February 1971, weighs 3.56g.
Since September 1992 the penny has been composed of copper-plated steel, and was previously bronze consisting of 97% copper, 2.5% zinc, and 0.5% tin.
The penny has a diameter of 20.3mm and is 1.65mm in thickness (the previous bronze penny had a thickness of 1.52mm).
Did you know? Penny facts…
The UK's penny coins have a mild steel core and are electroplated with copper - because of this they are magnetic.
The 1p coin is legal tender in the UK for amounts up to 20p.
The last time 1p coins were issued was in 2014 with 260 million being entered into UK circulation.
The word 'NEW' was removed from the coin's design in 1982.
The design of the 1p coin's reverse was updated in 2008 along with the other UK lower value coins, featuring a design by Matthew Dent which forms a larger shield design when the coins are put together.
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