The fugio cent

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The Fugio cent or first penny was issued on 1787, under the authority of the Continental Congress of the United States. Following the decision of some states to mint their own copper coins, the Continental Congress passed a resolution dated April 21st, 1787, for the contract coining of a national copper cent.

Some months later, a design was agreed upon. A resolution dated July 6th, 1787 stated the penny obverse would have the sun and a sundial with the legend “FUGIO”, the date, and the motto “MIND YOUR BUSINESS”. The reverse would contain thirteen linked circles (representing the original thirteen colonial states) with the legends “WE ARE ONE” and “UNITED STATES.” This same design had been identically used in the first national fractional currency dated February 17th, 1776 and the 1776 Continental Currency “Dollar”.

Fugio temp obverse Fugio_cent_reverse
Fugio cent obverse Fugio cent reverse

This penny is made of pure copper, believed to be provided by Paul Revere, an American silversmith and a patriot of the American Revolution.

Value 0.01 US dollar
Mass 10.2 g
Composition Copper

Also, like the Massachusetts coppers, they were denominated as cents, that is a decimal coin based on one hundred to the Spanish milled dollar.

1787 Fugio Cent

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