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Benjamin Franklin reportedly designed the first American penny in 1787. Known as the Fugio cent, it bears the image of a sun and sundial above the message ”Mind Your Business.” A chain with 13 links, each representing one of the original colonies, encircles the motto “We Are One” on the reverse. Along with the first U.S. penny’s design, the phrase ”a penny saved is a penny earned” has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Visitors to the founding father’s grave in Philadelphia traditionally leave one-cent pieces there for good luck.