What year did pennies stop being copper? (2024)

What year did pennies stop being copper?

Technically, this meant that the penny, which had been bronze, became brass. However, there was no noticeable change in the appearance of the coin. In 1982, the fast-rising price of copper forced the U.S.

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Mint to change the composition of the penny to primarily zinc, with pure copper plating.

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When did pennies stop being all copper?

The alloy remained 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc until 1982, when the composition was changed to 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper (copper-plated zinc). Cents of both compositions appeared in that year. The penny's original design was suggested by Ben Franklin.

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What year was the last 100% copper penny?

History of composition
YearsMaterialWeight (grams)
1795–1857~100% copper10.89
1856–186488% copper, 12% nickel (also known as NS-12)4.67
1864–1942bronze (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc)3.11
1943zinc-coated steel (also known as 1943 steel cent)2.72
5 more rows

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How much is a pre 1982 penny worth in copper?

A pre-1982 penny has about 2 cents worth of copper in it. Some people hoard them, betting that the U.S. will kill the penny and then it will be legal to melt them down and they can make a killing. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Every year, the U.S. government loses money minting pennies.

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How do I know if my 1982 penny is copper?

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What year pennies are worth keeping?

Watch for low mintage years like 1955-S, 1939-D, 1933-D, and 1931-S. Depending on condition, rarer pennies are worth more. Look for all-copper pennies. Old pennies made before 1982 are 95% copper, which gives them an inherent metal value.

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Should I save copper pennies?

So, your best option is to keep those copper pennies until they get rid of the penny, and sell them then. It will be a nice way to make so money! It might seem not worth it now, but in 2026 you will smile upon the day you started to save copper pennies! Thank you for reading, and good luck coin roll hunting!

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How do you tell if my 1982 penny is copper or zinc?

If your Lincoln Memorial penny has a date before 1982, it is made of 95% copper. If the date is 1983 or later, it is made of 97.5% zinc and plated with a thin copper coating. For pennies dated 1982, when both copper and zinc cents were made, and best way to determine their composition is to weigh them.

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Can I melt down pennies and sell the copper?

It is not illegal to melt, destroy, or modify any U.S. coins in the United States.

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What is a copper penny worth in scrap?

Many estimate that each copper penny is worth about one and a half cents, though this fluctuates every day with the market value of copper. However, melting these pennies down is illegal, meaning that they are not viable for scrapping at this time.

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How much is a copper penny worth in 2022?

zinc price / pound on Aug 26, 2022. The CME uses pounds to price these metals, that means we need to multiply the metal price by . 00220462262 to make the conversion to grams. $0.0251389 is the melt value for the 1909-1982 copper cent on August 26, 2022.

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What makes the 1982 penny so valuable?

The most valuable 1982 penny is a transitional error caused by the move from 95% copper to 99.2% zinc composition. It's the 1982-D "small date" Lincoln Memorial cent made from copper. There wasn't supposed to be any "small date" bronze Lincoln cents struck in Denver in 1982.

What year did pennies stop being copper? (2024)
How much is a 1982 D Large Date penny worth?

Neither coin should exist in copper alloy, but collectors looking for coin finds discovered both. Then they cashed in by consigning them for auction. The two coins achieved a combined price of $35,625. The 1982-D sold for $18,800 and the 1983-D sold for $17,625.

How much is a 1943 steel penny worth?

Value of a 1943 Steel Penny

They are worth about 10 to 13 cents each in circulated condition and as much as 50 cents or more if uncirculated.

Why is the 1943 copper penny worth so much?

Like all valuable rare coins, condition is a factor in how much the penny is worth. However, because the coin is so rare, all 1943 copper pennies are extremely valuable. According to Heritage Auctions, these rare coins regularly fetch thousands of dollars at auction.

How much is a 1944 penny worth?

While the face value of a 1944 penny is 1 cent, the coin is worth about 15 cents. The mint struck about a billion Lincoln pennies in 1944, and that's why they are not rare. If you are a numismatic enthusiast with any burning questions about the 1944 Lincoln penny, be sure to tell us!

How much is a 1982 penny worth?

Most 1982 pennies in circulated condition are only worth either their face value of $0.01 or their weight in copper if they are of the copper variety. These coins can only sell for a premium in uncirculated condition.

What years were pennies made of steel?

1943 steel cents are U.S. one-cent coins that were struck in steel due to wartime shortages of copper. The Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints each produced these 1943 Lincoln cents.
1943 steel cent.
Thickness1.55 mm
Composition99% steel with a thin layer of zinc
Years of minting1943
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