Pre 1982 Copper Pennies Selling at Premium Prices

I have written and talked to people about the lowly copper penny for quite some time. US pennies minted before 1982 (and some struck during the first part of that year) are made of 95% copper. Later pennies contain only 2.5% copper. It takes approximately 115 pennies to make 1 pound of copper. If copper is at $1.15 per pound then a copper penny will be worth one cent. Currently copper is more than 3 times that amount. This means that 1 pre 1982 penny contains more than 3 cents worth of copper! Don’t underestimate this. You may be tempted to say ‘oh its only pennies…’ Copper Pennies In the middle of 1982 the composition of the penny was drastically changed. Previous cents were minted from 95% copper but were changed to 0.05% copper in the form of a micro-coating of copper...

US Nickel Cents of the Civil War

Nickel Cents of the Civil War Have you ever heard the expression “he doesn’t have a nickel’s worth of sense?” Believe it or not, there used to actually be “nickel cents”. Nickel Cents were minted during a specific time in history, and the hoarding of them, along with gold and silver coins, in Civil war times led to the passing of 18 USC 486, which made private tokens illegal to use. Nickel Cents were pennies with the Indian head symbol that were struck between the years of 1859 – 1864 that contained 88% copper and 12% nickel. They were referred to as nickels or “nicks”, before the days of the five cent nickel piece. We often hear today of the nuisance that pennies can be. Many people simply save them until there are enough to convert into...

2009 Lincoln’s Birth Bicentennial Cents

2009 was the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. Four different versions of the Lincoln Cent were minted to celbrate the ocassion. All four were struck at both the Philadelphia and Denver Mints which means that there are 8 different versions that were struck for general circulation. The thing that makes these cents interesting is their relative rarity. The lowest mintage was on the 2009-P “Presidency” Lincoln Cent at less than 130,000,000. The highest mintage among the 2009 cents was the 2009-P “Formative Years” cent at 376,000,000. Coins with numbers like this are bound to be in short supply among collectors. And there are lots of cent collectors both new and old. I really think this is a coin to keep an eye on and try to add a few to your own coin collection! Birthplace...

Valuable Copper Pennies and Zinc Errors

In the middle of 1982 the composition of the penny was drastically changed. Previous cents were minted from 95% copper but were changed to 0.05% copper in the form of a micro-coating of copper over a zinc core. Copper had become too valuable to be used for something with so little buying power as the lowly penny. In fact, as of today, it would take a little over 2.5 cents worth of copper to produce a traditional 95% copper cent. Add in the administrative and other costs involved and it goes even higher. In order to affectively produce one cent coins without losing money a metal is needed that is as near to being worthless as possible while still being somewhat durable. Copper Pennies What? Our good old Lincoln Memorial pennies are made of near worthless zinc instead of copper? Yes, it is true...

Save Those Copper Pennies

We have all heard, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” but did you know that it has never held more truth than it does today? Right now there is a real opportunity to invest in your future just by keeping an eye on your pocket change for copper pennies. While these coins are getting less common in pocket change every day they are still common enough to be found by anyone who keeps an eye out. If you see a US cent with a date earlier than 1982 you are looking at a coin that is worth more than double the face value in copper alone! 1981 Cent 2.95g Copper At the time of this writing copper is around $4.00 to $4.25 per pound. It takes around 155 pennies (depending upon the level of wear) to equal 1 pound of copper. This means that at $4.00 per pound 1 penny holds 2.5 cents of copper. I...

Lincoln Wheat Cent

1909 – 1958 The Lincoln Wheat Cent was designed by Victor David Brenner, and is well known by several different names, but is probably most often referred to as the  Wheat Penny. In average circulated grades most Wheat Cents are valued at around $0.10 or less, but some high grade specimens can fetch in tens of thousands of dollars. For example, in 1914 less than 1.2 million cents were struck at the Denver Mint. As a result a 1914-D Lincoln Wheat Cent can sale for more than $25,000.00. Another “key” wheat penny to look for is the 1909-S which even in poor grades is worth hundreds of dollars. This is the one which has the initials of the designer, “V.D.B.”, on the lower right side of the reverse. Less than half a million of these were struck before the initials...

US Large Cents

1793 – 1857 From 1793 through 1857 the US cent was much larger than what we are accustomed to today. These cents ranged from 27 mm to 29 mm in diameter, quite large when compared to the modern Lincoln Cent which is only 19 mm in diameter. Different designs were used for US Large Cents: 1793 Flowing Hair Large Cent ~ (chain reverse) This was actually the first time that the Federal Government minted a coin using its own equipment and facilities. Only 36,103 Flowing Hair Large Cents were struck with the chain reverse. The fact that these coins were minted in such low numbers along with it being struck for only 1 year make this one of the rarest US coins for collectors. Depending upon the condition an example of this large cent can be worth anywhere from several thousand dollars to half...