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Introduced in 1793, U.S. cents along with half cents were the first coins issued by the U.S. Mint. While early “large” U.S. cents struck in pure copper were nearly as big as half dollars, U.S. cents were reduced in size to modern standards in 1857. “Small” U.S. cents were struck in copper-nickel from 1857-1864, in bronze from 1864-1982 and in copper-plated zinc from 1982 to the present. Indian Head cents of 1859-1909 are widely considered the most attractive U.S. cents, and Lincoln cents of 1909 to date are America’s longest-running coinage series.
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