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Rare error cents worth looking for

I am getting numerous emails about cents lately.

That is no surprise with the excitement surrounding the discovery of a 1982-D small date copper coin earlier this year.

It is very valuable.

It is also the only one – so far.

That is why everyone should look at their cents.

Where there is one, there can be others.

I am providing a link to a story in this blog because I think it will be handy for many people.

The link goes to the story about the discovery of the one and only 1982-D small date copper.

But there is something in it that is even more important.

It includes images of the large date and the small date for anyone to look at.

Judging from my emails, there are many persons who do not have any kind of reference to learn how the two sizes of dates should look.

Remember, too, that a small date on a 1982-D alone is insufficient to make the coin rare.

There are hundreds of millions of them in copper-plated zinc.

The coin must also be struck on a 95-perent copper planchet.

You can use a cheap scale to see if the coin weighs 3.11 grams (copper) or 2.5 grams (zinc).

Or you can use the two popsicle stick method.

Create a seesaw by laying one down on its edge and putting the other across it like a teeter-totter.

Take a pre-1982 copper cent that weighs 3.11 grams and put it on one end of the horizontal stick.

Put the cent you are unsure of on the other end.

If the mystery cent also is copper, it will balance.

If it is zinc, the copper cent will bring down its end of the seesaw.

Simple, but it can be time consuming if you have a lot of 1982-D small date cents to check.

But think of the financial reward if you find one of copper.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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