One Red Cent

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One Red Cent : Phrases


A single symbolic penny.


I refuse to pay even
one red cent for the work until you complete the whole job.


Red refers to both the color of a penny (one cent) and the image that used to be on the penny, an American Indian head. Redskin is a slang term used for American Indians.

Before today's Lincoln penny was the Indian Head penny.

The Indian Head penny was first issued in 1859 and looks just like that as issued in 1908 (before the Lincoln Cent). The only difference was that those from 1859-1864 were of a different copper-nickel alloy while 1864 started the common bronze, which was used until 1982. (You didn't know it changed then, did you?)

The copper-nickel alloy has a reddish tint, which turns redder with time and skin oil.

Before the Indian Head penny was the
Buzzard Cent as the One Cent coins in 1856-1858 were called. The flying eagle on the coin was damned as an ugly bird and it wasn't popular.

However, it was the first
small cent using about the same size as our penny today. In the half century before this, One Cent coins were about the size of today's Half Dollar! (of course they were also worth something then)
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