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another wheat penny

August 16th, 2010 at 05:19 am

This time a 1938. 4 cents.

I'm saving them for laughs, just to see what I get. Thus far I have 4 wheat pennies (1956, 1951, 1938, 1927S) obtained by picking them up from where someone else dropped them. I've also been thinking of saving any copper penny, the ones older than 1982.

7 Responses to “another wheat penny”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Neat-o on the wheat-o! Older than "82 are copper? I did not know that.

  2. yisave Says:

    I love collecting pnnies as well. Actually copper and zinc pennies were made in 1982. You would have to weigh them to see the difference. "82 and back is 95% copper. The zinc is 97.5%.

  3. baselle Says:

    yisave - Yes, I heard that 1982 is an intermediate year - some were copper, some were zinc. I have a scale, but the other test is that the pennies sound different when dropped on a surface. The copper ones have a higher clink tone, the zinc ones clunk. Yet another use for those wheat pennies.

    What's fascinating to me is having a 1 coin that might have floated around hand to hand during the Great Depression, 2 coins that did so during WWII, and all of these pennies are older than the space age. (Okay, okay they all could have sat out the decades in someone's change jar...I much prefer my romantic version.)

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Oh, this is terrible (I guess) but my kid used to melt pennies with a small propane torch. (This activity is not recommended for those super highly active kids we've talked about in another blog, and I'm not sure allowing it gets me any parenting awards, but what the hey! Besides, I think he was a teen when he did it.)

    Those zinc ones were cool! He'd melt them at waist level and let them drip onto the concrete porch and when that silver liquid hit the floor it would instantly splat & harden, leaving a shiny, lacy piece of foil behind. If this is illegal defacement, then I think it was really zinc washers or something.

    I cannot recall any copper pennies ~I mean washers~ melted.

  5. GrimJack Says:

    J.o.t.a - it takes a LOT of energy to melt copper (1083.0 C (1356.15 K, 1981.4 F) compared to Zinc 419.58 C (692.73 K, 787.24396 F)) - when we had a bronze foundry using propeller scrap, we wanted to add some copper so we threw in some pennies (this was in the 70s). All we got was some bronze with pennies floating in it. It would take a lot of pennies to make it worthwhile turning them into copper.

  6. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Oh yeah, a question of the melting point. Thanks, GJ. Very interesting re the bronze foundry and propeller scrap.

  7. GrimJack Says:

    I would just like to add here that it is against the law to turn coinage into metal for scrap. Whenever selling coins I would choose to sell to a collector over a dealer. A couple of years ago I gave all my 'special' coins to a guy who ran a youth numismatist club because I remember the thrill I got when I collected as a child. But then I am an anti-Rand altruist.

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