Has there ever been a country that had silver content in their 1 and/or 2 cent coins?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Drago the Wolf, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. Drago the Wolf

    Drago the Wolf Junior Member

    I know we had a small siver 3 cent coin, but I know we have never had a silver 1 or 2 cent coin (although the 1943 steel cent is sometimes dubbed "the Silver Penny) So, was silver EVER cheap enough, that it could be put in 1 and/or 2 cent coins? Just curious. Oh, and I should have also included half cents in this question too, so tell me if any country ever had a half cent with silver content in it, please. :smile
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  3. Cazkaboom

    Cazkaboom One for all, all for me.

  4. GreatWalrus


    I've never seen a woman as terrifying as that

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Apparently you are not aware that very first pennies were all silver - from every country. Of course that was a long time before the US even existed.
  6. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Apparently, you are aware of what leads people to ask questions. :)

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Of course, that why I worded it that way. Now folks will be looking to find out just what I was talking about ;)

    Google - silver penny.
  8. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    I hope the links work because I didn't attach my own photos this time

    All British pennies were silver many years ago. The English penny got debased to the point that it was turned into a copper coin. I’ve heard that the introduction of solid copper pennies was not liked by the people of the time. Here is an old silver GB penny:

    The cross on the reverse was to keep folks from shaving or clipping the edge of the coin in order to steal some silver from it. If a part of the cross was missing, then you knew the coin was missing some metal I think. The English silver penny has roots back to the Roman Denarius which is why the abbreviation for penny is “d” and not “p”.

    The 1792 USA silver centered cent is quite rare & I’ve only seen one in my life. Of course, this is a silver centered cent (not a penny) Here is one from the internet:

    Here is a Model Penny from Great Britain. I believe that the center of this particular coin is copper-nickel alloy. Some may have a small silver cent pressed in the center.
  9. Bill in Burl

    Bill in Burl Collector

    Some more on the "model series"
  10. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    Maundy Money from Great Britain is silver. I can't locate a photo of my 1 penny pieces but here is a 2 penny piece to give you an idea. The obverse always has the portrait of the reigning person.

    Attached Files:

  11. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

  12. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Great Britain also struck silver half penny pieces as well. I don't believe they ever did silver farthings though. In 1257 Henry III also struck a gold penny, but it actually had the value of 20 silver pennies.

    Gold penny of Henry III
  13. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I would interject, though, that what the OP THINKS of a penny in his mind is NOT what the penny was back when it was silver. Back then the penny was similar to a silver dollar or half dollar in value. In fact, silver had gone down in relative value between the 1600's and the 1800's. The fact it could be in a half dime was remarkable showing how cheap silver had gotten relative to a person's wages. Even then, a silver half dime or trime was not a small amount of money, probably equal to well over a couple of dollars today.

    Point being, there has never been a silver coin for such a small denomination as what the cent or two cents are worth today, and the closest it had ever been in human history was probably the 19th century versus an average man's daily wage.

  14. rdwarrior

    rdwarrior Junior Member

    The OP asked about cents, using examples of British pennies is like comparing apples to oranges. The British penny typically had a value of several US cents (in 1900 1 pound = about 5 U.S. dollars )
    Small denomination silver coins were minted by many of the German States, however the silver was normally debased down to 10-20% and is refered to as billion.
  15. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Depends on what time frame you're talking about. US large cents were equivalent to British pennies.

    While I understand what you mean, he asked if silver had ever been used in 1/2, 1, or 2 cent coins - he placed no time frame limitation on it. And he got his answers.
  16. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    No, large cents were equivalent to British half pennies.
  17. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    I stand corrected.
  18. athrose

    athrose Member

  19. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

  20. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Probably more aware of that than there are aware that an entire Proof Set of 1868 US coins was struck in aluminum.
  21. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    That is thinking outside the box to attract customers, huh? Reminds me of the thread talking about the SF set they are asking opinions on. I was going to say something stupid like issue silver cents and nickels for this special set, but then thought it too weird of an idea. If the Canucks are already doing it, then I think issuing a cent and nickel in silver in 2012 for the anniversary of the SF mint would be a HUGE success. Imagine obtaining the ONLY pure silver cent and nickel in the entire US coinage series?
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