Two-penny nails. Three-penny nails. Have you ever been asked to go to the hardware store for nails only to find you don’t know what you need once you get there? Just what does the term penny mean when it comes to nails? Our modern use of the term refers to the size of the nail.
However, it is believed that it originated when nails were sold by weight (in some hardware stores they still are). You would get more of the smaller three penny nails in a pound than you would of the larger six penny nails.
Penny Nail Sizes
It is worth noting for future reference that when abbreviating the term penny you use the lower case “d” behind the number. Example, 2d means two penny. Lengths of nails increase in penny size by ¼ of an inch until the nails reach 3.5 inches, and then they increase in length by ½ of an inch. The next size jump comes at 6 inches when sizes increase by a full inch for each penny specified.
Examples of a few “Penny” sizes:
2d = 1” 3d = 1.25” 4d = 1.5” 5d = 1.75” 6d = 2”
Using the information above you can now figure penny sizes all the way up to 100d which would be a ten inch nail. Now, that’s one long nail, I wonder what I’ll go build?