Junk Copper Coins
Rising base metal prices have had the impact of making the lowly penny worth more than its face value. Pennies or cents that were minted before 1982 were struck in a composition of 95% copper and 5% zinc. The intrinsic value of the copper is currently worth about two cents, or double the face value.
Many decades ago when the United States Mint removed the silver content from coins, pre-1965 silver coinage was quickly taken from circulation and hoarded. As the market price of silver rose, these 90% silver coins came to be worth many multiples of the original face value. The so-called "junk silver coins" became a widely traded investment product for those seeking to invest in physical silver bullion.
In similar fashion, the United States Mint altered the composition of the cent to predominantly zinc when the intrinsic value of the previous composition began to approach the face value of the coins. In the ensuing years, the rising price of copper has made the pre-1982 copper cents even more valuable. This could created an investment medium known as "junk copper coins".
Indeed, some people have already taken to sorting through their pocket change to separate out the more valuable 95% copper pennies. This process can also be undertaken on a larger scale, searching through rolls or boxes of pennies obtained from banks. There are even special coin sorters which have been created to separate out the copper cents in rapid fashion.
Although it is currently illegal to melt the coins to reclaim the copper, the intrinsic value of the coins is recognized in many marketplaces. People commonly buy and sell 95% copper pennies at prices based on the value of the copper. For the seller, this can be a way to unlock the intrinsic value of the coins. For the buyer, this can present a method for making a long term investment in copper.
Time will tell if the activities of the sorters and hoarders of junk copper coins will be rewarded. On this site, you can find a selection of 95% copper pennies available for sale in bulk quantities. View selections in the categories shown at left.