Did you know the U.S. Constitution only allows coins, not paper money? The Founding Fathers didn't trust paper money, so they didn't authorize it. It took an act of Congress in 1862 to print paper money for permanent circulation. All U.S. coins were originally gold, silver, or copper. Today's circulating coins contain no gold or silver but the nickel's is unique....it's the only U.S. coin that is called by its metal content, even though it's only 25 percent nickel. The rest is copper. There is no such thing as a penny...it's officially called a cent...the term penny came from European settlers who used the word to describe a small unit of currency in their native countries...and once we had two and three cent coins. All U.S. coins carry two mottos: "In God We Trust" and "E Pluribus Unum." And because early coins were crudely made, they were easy to fake, so the 1792 Coin Act made counterfeiting or defacing coins punishable by death. American homes have 10 billion dollars on coins just lying around and we leave behind 60 million dollars in coins tucked down in airplane seats worldwide each year. If you have sixteen U.S. pennies and want to measure something, you're in luck! Those sixteen pennies, stacked in a pile, will measure one inch high. If you lay them flat, in a straight line, that line will measure one foot.