How much does a penny weigh?

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13 October 2019
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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
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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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