A penny (pl. pence or pennies) is a unit of currency or a coin used in several English-speaking countries: more...
- 1/100 of the British Pound Sterling or the Irish pound (1971–2001), or a coin with that value: see history of the English penny.
- 1/240 of the British pound sterling or Irish pound prior to February 15, 1971, of the Pound Scots prior to 1707, and also the pre-decimalisation currencies of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (1/12 of the shilling), or a coin of that value.
- a standard but unofficial name for the one-cent coin in the United States and in Canada, worth 1/100 of the dollar: see penny (U.S. coin), penny (Canadian coin). Note that this word is not officially used by the United States Mint or the Royal Canadian Mint; they use cent.
In the USA and Canada, "penny" is normally used to refer to the coin; the quantity of money is 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. 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.
In Canada, penny originally referred to pence coinage that they used until 1859 since there was a coin with the word "penny" on it (for pence). Since this was a term that they used for many years, the One Cent denomination stayed with the penny nickname ever since. The Royal Canadian Mint and the Federal Government of Canada don't officially call the One Cent coin a penny but a "One Cent" coin.
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