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PENNY. The name of an English coin of the value of one-twelfth part of a shilling. While the United States were colonies, each adopted a monetary system composed of pounds, shillings, and pence. The penny varied in value in the different colonies.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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There followed the halfpenny and the farthing, yielding to the practice of cutting pennies into halves and quarters for small transactions.
Also in my special drawer are a handful of Newfoundland pennies that my father carried as lucky charms all the way through the Second World War.
Crucially, these silver pennies bore the king's name on the obverse and that the moneyer on the reverse.
Ask a youngster today "What is 'two and six pence' in pennies" - the answer would be "Eight".
That being the case, wouldn't you think Congress would just scrap pennies altogether and put them out of our misery?
Many charities, for instance, profit from pennies. Penny drives--campaigns that ask for donations of pennies--are often big successes.
I've raised my goal to $1,500, or 150,000 pennies. I now have a change jar at five businesses, and two at my church.
For example, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society recently celebrated collecting 1.5 billion pennies ($150 million) for their "Pennies for Patients" program.
To add insult to injury, many of those pennies go unused.
While its most recent polling found 66 percent of Americans support keeping the penny as legal tender, more than a fourth "find pennies of little value and have no plans for their use."
I average seven or eight visits a week to grocery stores and almost always drop my pennies into the tray at the register.