|This 1973 cent, still found in pocket|
change, holds almost 3 cents worth
of copper at current spot value!
How much does it cost you to get a 95% pure copper penny? Well, right now if you take the time to look at your pocket change you can find some of them for free, or rather for 1 cent. And if the bad times come and you have to break into the bank you can always spend them right? But I don't think you will want to spend them once you realize their value.
Keep in mind that it takes about 115 copper pennies to equal one pund of copper. So if copper is at $1.15 a copper cent would be worth about 1 cent. At $3.45 per pound one penny holds 3 cents worth of metal.
Pennies minted before 1982 (and actually the first ones minted in 1982) were made of 95% copper. US cents are now made to include just 0.05% copper; they are almost entirely zinc with just enough copper to give them the color.
Back in the 1980s at one time I was working at a metal heat treatment place. I saw a guy take two pennies. One was a pre-1982 and the other a newer one. He dipped the older cent into the molten metal (it was on a wire) and brought it back out. It was red hot and when it cooled it was discolored a bit but intact. He did the same with the newer cent. The zinc penny evaporated in a puff of smoke before it even reached the surface of the molten metal!
Now, I am not suggesting that you take your can of copper pennies to the scrap yard to sell them for copper. But think about it. Do you really want to spend a penny at the store that is really worth nearly 3 cents and has the likelihood of getting higher? Not only that but these coins are no longer minted so they will become more rare as time passes, more rare as people realize their true value and set them aside. You can be sure of one thing though; others ARE melting these copper pennies down and just like it was in the 1960s with silver so will it be now with copper. Many of the copper cents will be worth more than just the copper because of collectability.
Say what?! Keep an eye on your pocket change and keep out any 1981 and earlier pennies you find. Don't spend those suckers! Put them in a jar or a sock somewhere and save them!
More good stuff about copper and copper pennies:
Save Those Copper Pennies!
How to Hoard Copper Pennies
Kitco - Spot Copper Historical Charts and Graphs
Current Primary and Scrap Metal Prices
I like these old vintage ads so thought I would include one here too: