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Object Name: Fugio cent
Date: 1787
Related People:
Medium: Copper
Dimensions: Overall (coin diameter): 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm) Framed: 16 × 19 in. (40.6 × 48.3 cm)
Place made: North America, United States, New Haven
Description: Die-struck copper Fugio cent; obverse depicts rayed sun at top, sundial in center framed by the legends "FUGIO", "1787", at bottom "MIND YOUR BUSINESS" ;on reverse a chain of thirteen circular links, and the legends “UNITED STATES", "WE / ARE / ONE" in center. Cent mounted in original 1971 presentation frame along with printed account of Fugio cent history.
Credit Line: Gift of Albert C. Todaro
Object Number: 2005.4.1
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Marks: Struck on obverse: "FUGIO 1787 / MIND YOUR / BUSINESS"; on reverse: "UNITED STATES / WE ARE ONE"

Gallery Label:

Congress passed a resolution on April 21, 1787 to produce the first U.S. copper cent for regular circulation. Over 400,000 "Fugio" cents, which meant "time flies," were minted, but never saw much use, as the contract for their production was voided a year later and the coins were acquired by the Bank of New York where they were stored until 1926. This uncirculated Fugio cent was given to the Bank of New York customer, George W. Kern in 1971 to celebrate a 50 year account relationship.


Albert C. Todaro
Mrs. George W. Kern
George W. Kern
Bank of New York