Your older pennies may turn to gold because of the high price of copper. In what seems like an easy way to make money, people everywhere are now searching and sorting their coins with melting in mind. Each penny minted before 1982 is a copper penny and its melt value is more than twice the coin’s value.
With a chance to more than double your money simply by melting coins, it seems everyone wants in on it. Some websites now offer automatic coin sorters and others discuss melting coins. A YouTube video even shows someone melting a copper penny. The melting pennies usually leave a puddle of metal, at other times an eerie outline of George Washington.
A recent article on Associated Content entitled; “How Much Is a Nickel Worth? Because of Copper’s Price, It’s More Than Seven Cents” discusses the value of a nickel. The nickel coin actually contains less than twenty-five percent nickel.
You may find more than one penny in your piggy bank from the 1960s and 1970s as they are still used as a daily coin.
Due to the potential hoarding of the coin, and the strong possibility that some may want to melt their coins; The United States Mint has established rules making it illegal to melt coins. Despite the ban on melting pennies, it still appears to allow hoarding and collecting. Melting coins has occurred through-out history.
Evidence exists of both the sorting of the copper penny, and the sale of coin hoards. Recycling and melting pennies may occur in the future if the ban is lifted.
The Associated Content article about the nickel, cited eBay as having bulk penny lots listed, for sale at above market values. The article gave this example; “Recently, five-thousand copper pennies were offered for ninety-four dollars”.
This author can offer a practical tip from personal experience. I began separating the copper pennies out of my change a few months ago. At first, I read the date on each penny, which was both time consuming and eye straining. I then realized that if well lit, you can see a color difference on the pennies.
The older, more valuable pennies are slightly more of a bronze color. The newer, less valuable pennies are a shinier copper color. I personally had about an eighty percent success rate in visually separating the copper pennies from their less valuable zinc counterparts. Most of the coins that tricked me were newer ones that had been worn prematurely. If you find a copper penny made in 1982, look at it closely, as that year they made both types.
I am now the proud owner of a bag of sorted coins that weighs at least one pound. At a copper price of almost four dollars a pound, I have collected four dollars worth. That’s over a dollar per month. Not bad for a few minutes work.
YouTube – Torch Melting Penny YouTube, LLC
Zane Waltz How Much is a Nickel Worth? Because of Copper’s Price, It’s More than Seven Cents Associated Content, Inc
United States Mint Press RoomUS Department of the Treasury