I hope this penny project doesn’t come to feel like a burden. I suppose it will, some days. But that’s part of the idea: the weight of my days.
If I live to be 100, the weight of my days is about 90 pounds.
A penny weighs 2.5 grams – that is less than a tenth of an ounce. About what a young hummingbird weighs (a bee hummingbird weighs even less).
Pennies from 1982 and later are copper-coated zinc, only 2.5% copper. They weighed more when they were 95 percent copper.
Ever wonder how many pennies there were in a pound of pennies? This changes based on the type of metal that makes up the penny.
Copper Pennies – 95% copper, 5% zinc: 147 pennies per pound
Zinc Pennies – 97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper: 182 pennies per pound
From July 7, 2015, if I live to 100 it is a total of 16,072 days. That many modern pennies weighs 40,177.5 grams, or 88.58 pounds.
And I know, because I picked them all up.
I chose 1990 for today’s penny, to represent those 90 pounds. It’s a penny that looks like it has seen the weight of the intervening 25 years:
When I cashed the check for $162.52 from my dad to get the pennies, the bank had to order them and it took a week.
They come in boxes of $25 worth, and each box weighs about 15 pounds. But it’s a very dense 15 pounds, in a box about the size of a brick.
Michele, the banker who helped me, loaded them onto a chair and we wheeled them to a back door where the handicapped entrance is. Then I carried the boxes to my trunk. And later, I put six of the boxes into my storage unit.
Heavy, heavy, the weight of all those days…. I pray that those days will have as much substance as they do, in the end.