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Copper chase not as rewarding

With the value of the metal in the pre-1982 cents now at a nice round 3 cents, give or take. How much longer will we continue to see the old coins in our change?

True, it is still illegal to melt them. It is illegal to export them. But will this deter individuals from deciding that they would rather swap paper money or coins of lesser intrinsic value to set them aside?

Good question.

Perhaps the larger question is whether it is worth the bother at all.

I have been saving the 95-percent copper cents for the last couple of months. It could even be nearly three months. I didn’t write the starting date down, which was the last time I took my trusty old yogurt container to the bank to collect folding money for the coins in it.

How am I doing? Not particularly well. I have 59 of the high-value cents.

That means my notional profit would be $1.18 if I were able to sell them for precisely the current metallic value. Of course, I cannot. Who is buying?

Somehow $1.18 in two to three months doesn’t seem like much of an incentive. That hardly works out to a rate of $5 a year. I suppose I could increase the number of coins by starting to go through bank rolls. I haven’t done that. I have been resisting.

The greater incentive is the voice in the back of my head that says I did it with silver coins in the 1960s. Why not the copper? I guess that is called nostalgia. But is that enough?

If I would happen to find a 1969-S or 1972 doubled-die, that would quickly change my attitude.

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3 Responses to Copper chase not as rewarding

  1. Mark says:

    The nice thing about accumulating pre 1982 pennies which are worth about 3 cents and nickels which are worth over 7 cents is you can get them for face value and make an instant profit. OK, it’s going to be a deferred profit because who will pay you 7 cents for a nickel today when you can buy them at a bank for 5 cents? And both pennies and nickels get very bulky very quickly. Try storing $500 worth of pennies especially if you live in an apartment.

    The idea is they will eventually disappear from circulation when their melt value goes higher and will be sold as bullion as are pre 1965 dimes and quarters. And if they don’t, you will still be able to cash them in, so their it’s a low risk speculation.

  2. The thing I wonder is if there is a market like the silver coins. Although some do melt down the silver ones. Since it’s illegal to melt down the pennies I’m wondering who or if anyone is doing copper coin trading?

    On the plus side Wheaties were being bought at 2 cents a piece and Indians about 50 cents a pieces so your not helping yourself out with those at copper value.

  3. FuzzyRider says:

    I search about $20 of cents every month for copper (I am easily amused…) I have found that, in SE New Mexico, anyway, the rolls are averaging 20% copper pennies to 80% zinc (i.e., 10 copper cents per roll). I get better numbers if I go to banks in small towns and buy rolls- clearly I am not the only person in my town (Hobbs) pulling out copper. I also put away about $20 of nickels every month.

    Will this be a money maker? who knows. If hyperinflation hits, it will doubtless protect the value of money better than paper. One thing is certain, no one will steal the damn things, they’d get a hernia!

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