1.2 Million Pennies

q8~Reading an article a few years ago, I learned that’s it’s estimated that per year between 1.2 million pennies are thrown away and about 3.8 billion are taken out of circulation. After reading that article I decided to pick up all of the pennies/coins I found on the ground while out and about. Heck, I could use an extra $12,000 from discarded pennies. My husband complains about my harmless penny-picking, he tells me to just leave it. Doesn’t he understand I have a goal? Using my grandma’s coil basket “jar”, which she made when she was in her 80’s, to hold the “found booty”, I have the perfect container for my loot.  Today was the day I counted my riches.

Grandma's Hand Coiled Basket Jar

Grandma’s Hand Coiled Basket Jar

Counted loot:

Quarters – 2 = 50 cents
Dimes – 4 = 40 cents
Nickels- 6 = 30 cents
Pennies – 81 = 81 cents


Pile of Loot

Pile of Loot

I also found two coins on the ground in Montreal, Canada: 1 dime and 1 penny. They can be seen on the lower right side.

According to the US Treasury Report, there were $5,051,000,000 pennies circulating in 2013! The last penny I found was just yesterday in the dirt by my daughter’s yard. Maybe 2014 will be the year I find the $12,000 worth of pennies.

I did look at all of the pennies, and darn, none of them were on this list of most valuable US Pennies from CoinTrackers:

“Here is a cool list that details the top 25 most valuable pennies ever minted in the United States of American (updated: 2014). These coin values/worth’s are not based off common errors like double dies, but rather coins that were issued into circulation as is. Check out the list below.”

9 thoughts on “1.2 Million Pennies

  1. We stopped minting pennies here in Canada last year. I had about 100 leftover and I separated them into lots-of-copper and copper plate. I used Wikipedia to figure out the composition by year. I plan to use the lots-of-copper ones for some summertime natural dyeing. All mine were minted after 1950 so no collectibles! I can still use the copper plate ones as legal tender but there’s really no point as everyone rounds cash purchases to the nearest 5 cents these days.


    • Q – We found that out when we were in Montreal. I was surprised some prices were still expressed with the use of pennies, for example 96 cents. We’d get a nickel back in change. We did have some pennies for exact change, but the merchants didn’t want them. LOL!

      Copper has become too expensive to mint pennies. A lot of us here are wondering when the US penny will go bye, bye. LOL!

      Also, we found we had to have passports to get into Quebec. Sure wasn’t like the last time we entered Canada pre-9/11.


      • Yup 9/11 changed everything. We all need passports to cross the border now although there were some exceptions up until recently if you were not going by air. I need to get my passport renewed soon. It expires in the summer but I’ve found for getting into the US, they’re not keen at the border if the passport expires in less than 6 months. “Keen” might be an understatement! Not sure if that applies to Americans trying to get home but something to watch for!


  2. I like your tradition. We have various coin repositories around the house but I never thought of checking them for any really valuable coins.


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