파일:New 1p 2008.jpg
A 2008 penny from the United Kingdom, equivalent to 1100 of the pound sterling.
A 2005 one-cent coin from the United States, known colloquially as a "penny".
A variety of the low-value coins, including an (historical) Irish 2 pence piece and many United States pennies
A silver copy of the rare and valuable 1930 Australian penny
Coin of Eric Bloodaxe. The legend reads "ERIC REX" (King Eric).

A penny is a coin (pl. pennies) or a unit of currency (pl. pence) used in several English-speaking countries. It is often the smallest denomination within a currency system.


Old English versions of the word penny are penig, pening, penning and pending; the word appears in German as Pfennig, in Dutch and Swedish (often shortened to peng) as penning, and in West Frisian as peinje or penje. In Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish, the most common words for money are pengar, penger and penge respectively. These words are thought by some to have common roots with the English word "pawn", German Pfand, and Dutch pand, words which mean "a pledge or token".[1]

Origin and history of development편집

The silver penny of medieval Europe was modeled on similar small silver coins from antiquity: the Greek drachma and Roman denarius. There are also archeology exhibitions that show traces of pennies in Sweden and Norway. Researchers believe that this might be the result of Viking influence in northern Europe.[출처 필요]

When Britain was under Roman rule, most of Britain used the coin-based monetary system that was used by the Roman Empire, but their system of coinage soon changed after the Romans left. As the invading Anglo-Saxons began to settle and establish their own kingdoms, some started to make gold coins based on the old Roman designs or designs copied from the coins used in the Frankish kingdoms. Their monetary system had several serious flaws: first, gold was so valuable, that even the smallest coins were very valuable, thus, these gold coins would only be used in large transactions. Further, gold was very rare, and this rarity prevented such coins from being common enough to use for even large transactions.

Between the years 641 and 670 AD, there seems to have been a movement by the Anglo-Saxons to use less pure gold in coins. This made the coins appear paler, decreased their value, and may have increased the number that could be made, but it still did not solve the problems of value and scarcity of coins made mostly of gold.


Around the year 680 a new type of small silver coin appeared which some have identified as "sceattas" or "sceat". [출처 필요] Others suggest that sceatta was a specific measurement of a precious metal.

First pennies편집

Through the end of the 7th century, no Anglo-Saxon coins had been minted in any metal besides gold.

In Northumbria, pennies made of silver were being minted in the name of Bishop Eadbert (consecrated between 772 and 782, died between 787 and 789), some in the name of his brother Archbishop Egbert (the shilling is one of the oldest of English coins, preceding the penny).[2]

Pepin the Short, in about 735, minted the novus denarius. The novus denarius was based on the denarius and the penny was based on the novus denarius.[3] He declared that 240 pennies or pfennigs should be minted from one Carolingian pound, approximately 326 그램 (11.5 oz), of silver, so a single coin contained about 1.36 그램 (0.048 oz) of silver. (As of December 2011, this would cost about £0.98).

Circa 790 Charlemagne instituted a major monetary reform, introducing a new silver penny with a smaller diameter but greater mass. Surviving examples of this penny have an average mass of 1.70 gram (although some experts estimate the ideal theoretical mass at 1.76 gram). The purity is variously given as 0.95 or 0.96.[4][5][6]

The penny was introduced into England by King Offa, the king of Mercia (from 757 until his death in July 796), using as a model a coin first struck by Pepin the Short. King Offa minted a penny made of silver which weighed 2212 grains or 240 pennies weighing one Saxon pound (or Tower pound—equal to 5,400 grains—as it was afterwards called), hence the term pennyweight.

The coinage of Offa's lifetime falls essentially into two phases, one of the light pennies of medium flan comparable to those of the reign of Pepin and the first decades of that of Charlemagne in France, and another of heavier pennies struck on larger flans that date from Offa's last years and correspond in size to Charlemagne's novus denarius introduced in 793/4. But the sceat fabric survived in East Anglia under Beonna and until the mid 9th century in Northumbria, while the new-style coinages were not merely those of Offa, but were stuck also by king of East Anglia, Kent, and Wessex, by two archbishops of Canterbury, and even in the name of Offa's queen, Cynethryth.[7]

Henry III in 1257 minted a gold penny which had the value of twenty silver pence. The weight and value of the silver penny steadily declined from 1300 onwards.

The penny, with a few exceptions, was the only coin issued in England until the introduction of the gold florin by Edward III in December of 1343.[8]

In 1527 the Tower pound of 5,400 grains was abolished and replaced by the Troy pound of 5,760 grains.

Halfpence and farthings became a regular part of the coinage at that time, money which was created by cutting pennies to halves and quarters for trade purposes, a practice said to have originated in the reign of Æthelred II.

The last coinage of silver pence for general circulation was in the reign of Charles II. Since then silver pence have only been coined for issue as royal alms on Maundy Thursdays.

First use of copper편집

Pennies were made of copper in the United States of America as early as 1793, the first pennies in America (Chain Cent).[9]

The penny that was brought to the Cape Colony (in what is now South Africa) was a large coin—41 mm in diameter, 5 mm thick and 2 oz (57 g). On it was Britannia with a trident in her hand. The English called this coin the Cartwheel penny due to its large size and raised rim,[10] but the Capetonians (what citizens of Cape Town, South Africa call themselves) referred to it as the Devil's Penny as they assumed that only the Devil used a trident.[11] The coins were very unpopular due to their large weight and size.[12]

The first copper coins that Matthew Boulton minted for the British Government have become known as 'cartwheels', because of their large size and raised rims. His Soho Mint (created at his Soho Manufactury in 1788, in Handsworth, West Midlands, England) struck 500 쇼트톤 (450 t) of these penny and two-penny pieces in 1797, and further issued copper coins for the Government in 1799, 1806, and 1807. All together the Mint produced over £600,000 worth of official English copper coinage, as well as separate copper coins for Ireland and the Isle of Man.

On 6 June 1825, Sir Charles Somerset issued a proclamation that only British Sterling would be legal tender in the Cape (South Africa colony). The new British coins (which were introduced in England in 1816), among them being the shilling, six-pence of silver, the penny, half-penny, and quarter-penny in copper, were introduced to the Cape. Later two-shilling, four-penny, and three-penny coins were added to the coinage. The size and denomination of the 1816 British coins, with the exception of the four-penny coins, were used in South Africa until 1960.[11]

Use of bronze편집

In 1860 in Britain bronze pennies were introduced in place of copper ones, bronze being made of an alloy of metals, the main part is copper, alloyed with tin and a third metal that acts as a flux (anciently gold, silver, or lead, modernly nickel, silicon, manganese, aluminum, etc.[13]); these coins were an alloy containing 95 parts of copper, 4 of tin, and 1 of zinc. The weight was also reduced: 1 lb of bronze was coined into 48 pennies, versus 1 lb of copper which was coined into 24 pennies.[3][14][15]


The penny is among the lowest denomination of coins in circulation.

In addition, variants of the word penny, with which they share a common root, are or were the names of certain units of currency in non-English-speaking countries:

In the United States and Canada, "penny" is normally used to refer to a "cent." Elsewhere in the English-speaking world, the plural of "penny" is "pence" when referring to a quantity of money and "pennies" when referring to a number of coins.[17] Thus a coin worth five times as much as one penny is worth five pence, but "five pennies" means five coins, each of which is a penny.

When dealing with British or Irish (pound) money, amounts of the decimal "new pence" less than £1 may be suffixed with "p", as in 2p, 5p, 26p, 72p. Pre-1971 amounts of less than 1/- (one shilling) were denoted with a "d" which derived from the term "denarius", as in 2d, 6d, 10d.

Irish pound decimal coinage only used "p" to designate units (possibly as this sufficed for both the English word "pence", and Irish form "pingin").

틀:Coin image box 2 singles


Handling and counting penny coins makes transaction costs that may be higher than a penny. It has been claimed that for micropayments the mental arithmetic costs more than the penny. Australia and New Zealand now use 5¢ and 10¢, respectively, as their lowest denomination,[18] with Canada set to follow suit as per the most recent Federal budget.[19]

Changes in the price of metal commodity, combined with the continual debasement of paper currencies, causes the metal value of pennies to exceed their face value.[20][21] Several nations have stopped minting equivalent value coins, and efforts have been made to end the routine use of pennies in several countries, including Canada and the United States.[22] In the UK, since 1992, one- and two-penny coins have been made from copper-plated steel (making them magnetic) instead of bronze.


To "spend a penny" in British idiom means to urinate. The etymology of the phrase is literal; some public toilets used to be coin-operated, with a pre-decimal penny being the charge levied. The first recorded charge of a penny for use of a toilet was at the The Great Exhibition of 1851. Eventually, around the same time as the introduction of decimal coinage, British Rail gradually introduced better public toilets with the name Superloo and the much higher charge of 6d (212p).[23]

Finding a penny is sometimes considered lucky and gives rise to the saying, "Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck." This may be a corruption[출처 필요] of "See a pin and pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck" and similar verses, as quoted in The Frank C. Brown collection of North Carolina folklore and other places.[24]

The first known record of the phrase "a penny for your thoughts" is found in a 1547 collection of contemporary English language phrases compiled by John Heywood called A dialogue conteinying the nomber in effect of all the proverbes in the Englishe tongue.[25] A possibly related idiomatic expression, "my two cents", may use the low-value denomination to figuratively devalue the speaker's opinions for the sake of irony or humility.

List of pennies편집

See also편집


  1. “Dictionary.reference.com”. Dictionary.reference.com. 2011년 12월 22일에 확인함. 
  2. Medieval European Coinage: Volume 1, the Early Middle Ages
  3.   본 문서에는 현재 퍼블릭 도메인에 속한 브리태니커 백과사전 제11판의 내용을 기초로 작성된 내용이 포함되어 있습니다.
  4. Cipolla, Carlo M. "Before the industrial revolution: European society and economy, 1000-1700" 1993 p.129
  5. Frassetto, Michael, "Encyclopedia of barbarian Europe: society in transformation" 2003 p. 131
  6. National Bank of Belgium museum Home » News » Islam and the Carolingian penny
  7. Medieval European Coinage: Volume 1, the Early Middle Ages, page 277
  8. Keary, Charles Francis. (2005). A Catalogue of English Coins in the British Museum. Anglo-Saxon Series. Volume I. Poole, Reginald Stewart, ed. pp. xxii.
  9. “The United States Mint Historian's Corner”. The United States Mint. 
  10. Severn Internet Services - www.severninternet.co.uk. “Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre”. BMAGiC. 2011년 12월 22일에 확인함. 
  11. “South African History of Coins”. 
  12. “Currencyhelp.net”. Currencyhelp.net. 2011년 12월 22일에 확인함. 
  13. Colonial Metals Co. bronze ingot and casting chart
  14. “TreasureRealm”. TreasureRealm. 2011년 12월 22일에 확인함. 
  15. “Kenelks.co.uk”. Kenelks.co.uk. 2011년 12월 22일에 확인함. 
  16. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/05/04/mb-canada-last-penny-mint.html
  17. “Penny”. Oxford English Dictionary. 
  18. 인용 틀이 비었음 (도움말)  [깨진 링크]
  19. Smith, Joanna (2012년 3월 30일). “Federal budget 2012: pennies to be withdrawn from circulation”. 《The Star》 (Toronto). 
  20. 《Around the Nation; Treasurer Says Zinc Penny May Save $50 Million a Year》, New York Times, 1981년 4월 1일, 2009년 5월 7일에 확인함 
  21. Hagenbaugh, Barbara (2006년 5월 10일), 《Coins cost more to make than face value》, USA Today, 2009년 5월 7일에 확인함 
  22. Lewis, Mark (2002년 7월 5일). “Ban The Penny”. 《Forbes》. 2009년 5월 7일에 확인함. 
  23. BBC Nation on Film - Rise and Fall of LNER Mod Cons - Engines Must Not Enter the Potato Siding: "Spend a 6d in the superloo"
  24. “Mother Goose's chimes, rhymes & melodies”. H.B. Ashmead. 1861?. 2009년 11월 14일에 확인함. 
  25. Corrado, John (11). “What's the origin of "a penny for your thoughts"?”. the Straight Dope. 13 February 2013에 확인함. 

External links편집