The Canadian ones are the same size and they are used a lot because they
stopped printing $1 bills. Our treasury doesn't want to loose any
business so they keep wasting money on $1 bills. That's why the US
dollar coin isn't used.
I have metal detected for nearly thirty years now. The new pennies will
degrade in the ground in a year or so. The old copper ones last decades,
and will degrade, but only in acetic or basic soils. In neutral soils, they
will stay good for a very long time. Silver and gold, too.
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