#1
Old 03-08-2012, 05:22 AM
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Melting old pennies

I know it is illegal to melt U.S. coins down, but I am just curious as to how someone would know if the metal is from coins. It's pretty well-known that the copper weight of U.S. pennies up until 1982 is worth more than one cent. I'm just curious as to whether or not it would be in anyway difficult to sell a large amount of copper from melted down pennies to a scrap merchant. I don't know anything about melting/ smelting, but I would assume that a large amount of melted pennies would just turn to a liquid and then cool and just look like a big chunk of metal with no way of being able to tell the source of the copper. (I have no intent of doing this or anything, I am just generally curious.)
#2
Old 03-08-2012, 05:59 AM
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Yep. Pre-1983 US pennies and every goddamned US nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel) in the world is worth more than face value at scrap value, not even counting production cost. There is no way to trace the elemental metals from coins in any practical way. It's not a high profit enterprise to begin with, but it could be profitable on a large scale. Which is why it's illegal.

The Secret Service isn't going to bust your door down for melting down a few thousand coins a year, but they do look for trends that indicate large scale coin scrapping. Pre-1965 US quarters and dimes are 90% silver and very worthwhile to melt down.

Post-1982 pennies are mostly zinc and mostly worthless, but they still cost more than they're worth to produce. I'd like to see all of them gone. Is anyone really going to miss change of a quarter?
#3
Old 03-08-2012, 06:01 AM
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They're going to be some sort of bronze alloy, rather than pure copper, as the pure metal would be very soft and would wear out quickly.

I expect the alloy is specific enough in its composition that an ingot of it would be reasonably identifiable as having come from coins, but an ingot made from a mixture of melted coins and copper pipes maybe wouldn't - but nonstandard ingots of unspecified copper alloys are probably going to raise suspicions beyond that you're just melting pennies.
#4
Old 03-08-2012, 07:41 AM
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200 U.S. "pennies" contain slightly over an pound of copper. Therefore, at a scrapyard, with copper currently worth $3.80 U.S., you could bank the cents at face value($2.00) or scrap them, but most scrap yards proably wouldn't pay you much over the $2.00 figure. It's not like they'd pay 80+ % of the final melt price. Not worth it.
#5
Old 03-08-2012, 07:44 AM
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You also have to factor in the cost of the fuel, equipment and labor needed to melt them.
#6
Old 03-08-2012, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Jake Jones View Post
I'd like to see all of them gone. Is anyone really going to miss change of a quarter?
I depends on how long you are willing to save them and turn them in later. I often get enough in change to store and then return to my bank every 2 months or so to the tune of $20. That's $120 a year. Chump change maybe, but I'd rather have $120 in spending money than to throw it away on the street.

EDIT---that comes out to 33 cents a day. Maybe a bit high, but it is close anyway.

Last edited by srzss05; 03-08-2012 at 08:21 AM.
#7
Old 03-08-2012, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by srzss05 View Post
I'd rather have $120 in spending money than to throw it away on the street.
I wouldn't want to just give that change away either - but assuming transactions were rounded down as well as up you'd be even in the long run, without the hassle of dealing with small change.
#8
Old 03-08-2012, 11:07 AM
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I occasionally sell off a little of this and that, old plumbing fixtures, etc. With the current traffic is stolen metals, they want your drivers license, photograph you, make you fill out a form saying where the stuff came from etc. I also doubt it is easy to find much in the way of real metal coins in circulation. Could be partly because when there were more of them, somebody beat you to it. I would expect that yes coins are made from a distinct allow. Yes throwing in some copper pipe might distort it. Yes it is illegal. I don't remember any news stories of anybody being busted for it.
#9
Old 03-08-2012, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by thelabdude View Post
I occasionally sell off a little of this and that, old plumbing fixtures, etc. With the current traffic is stolen metals, they want your drivers license, photograph you, make you fill out a form saying where the stuff came from etc. I also doubt it is easy to find much in the way of real metal coins in circulation. Could be partly because when there were more of them, somebody beat you to it. I would expect that yes coins are made from a distinct allow. Yes throwing in some copper pipe might distort it. Yes it is illegal. I don't remember any news stories of anybody being busted for it.
I get pre-1982 US pennies on a fairly regular basis. I usually just put them back into circulation.
#10
Old 03-10-2012, 02:03 PM
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I've tried Googling but I can't find it. A few years back some guys were buying up nickels to export them, where they could be melted down outside of US jurisdiction. I think they got busted, IIRC.

A newish law makes exporting non-trivial amounts of pennies and nickels illegal.

DIY melting and then a trip to a metal recycler is something else. Given the large number of people making a living stealing copper pipes and aluminum, there must be scrap dealers who aren't all that fussy.
#11
Old 03-10-2012, 04:07 PM
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Referring to samclem (posting #4 - 200 pre-1982 pennies ≈ pound of copper.)

Well, I decided this was a nerdy calculation I just had to do.

Pre-1982 penny - Mass 3.11 grams 95% of which is copper.

Mass of copper in each pre-1982 penny = 2.9545 grams

There are 453.59 grams in a pound so it takes about 153.5 pre-1982 pennies if you want one pound of copper.

So, with the new calculation, this scheme becomes slightly more profitable.


(Yes, I know I wasn't consistent with the significant figures.)

Last edited by wolf_meister; 03-10-2012 at 04:10 PM.
#12
Old 03-10-2012, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by srzss05 View Post
I depends on how long you are willing to save them and turn them in later. I often get enough in change to store and then return to my bank every 2 months or so to the tune of $20. That's $120 a year. Chump change maybe, but I'd rather have $120 in spending money than to throw it away on the street.
Bank of America and probably other banks have this nice add-on where they round all your debit card purchases up to the nearest dollar, placing the difference between the charged price and that dollar into your linked savings account. Cashless society, man, cashless society.
#13
Old 03-10-2012, 05:08 PM
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Jake Jones, that one cent and five cent coins cost more to produce than their face value would be a problem if they weren't circulated for decades. I'm all for getting rid of one dollar bills and using dollar coins.
#14
Old 03-10-2012, 10:46 PM
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The melting point between zinc and copper is pretty big. If you were to take a bunch of pennies, both pre-1982 and post-1982, and melt them down, you could pour most of the zinc out or take the copper out before it melts.

Or, if your crucible had a plug in the bottom, you could pull that and just drain the zinc. Then, melt the copper and drain that. You'd then have them mostly separated and who'd know?

If you were to use a waste-oil burner, and you got your waste-oil for free, you might turn a profit. But, this would be pennies on the dollar.
#15
Old 03-11-2012, 01:10 AM
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It's late, someone can check my math, but I don't think you could even make minimum wage by cashing in pennies for scrap.

According to this thread at a coin collectors site, somewhere around 20% of pennies may be pre-1982. Copper prices can vary from $.50 to $3+ depending on the type of copper you have, but pure copper is obviously more. Let's assume you separate the copper and double their value.

So if you have $300 worth of pennies and 20%, or $60 worth, are pre-1982, you could take them in and get $120 back, but you'd be out the original $60 it cost to acquire the pennies so you'd just be $60 richer. That's 8.26 hours of minimum wage.

But, to go through that $300 and separate the pre 1982 pennies, you'd have to check one penny per second for 8.5 hours.

I'm pretty sure that's impossible, and it would still be slightly below minimum wage and it doesn't even include time spent getting the pennies, unwrap/wrapping them (I assume you want to take the "worthless" pennies back to the bank), melting or going to recycler.

Last edited by Fubaya; 03-11-2012 at 01:11 AM.
#16
Old 03-11-2012, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jake Jones View Post

Pre-1965 US quarters and dimes are 90% silver and very worthwhile to melt down.
I have seen bags of silver bags sold for more than the silver value, so it seems like they are worth more left in coin form. "$1000 face" is a common bag weight.
#17
Old 03-11-2012, 08:39 AM
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You don't have to melt them. Just accumulate them and sell them to people who do. I've been watching ebay ads, and there are coins changing hand north of face value.

As an experiment, I bought a dozen rolls of "old" pennies at the bank. I yielded about 25% pre-1983 coins, and even found several wheat cents.

This is all academic, but one could technically make money exchanging pennies.
#18
Old 03-11-2012, 09:22 PM
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My brain did not read that as pennies... Oh, the horror.

***

This makes me wonder about other nations' currencies. The 1 yen coin in Japan I imagine to be pretty worthless as scrap.
#19
Old 03-12-2012, 03:22 PM
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Are there any treaties against melting down coins?

Rob
#20
Old 03-12-2012, 07:30 PM
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Are there any treaties against melting down coins?

Rob
NO.
#21
Old 03-13-2012, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Fubaya View Post
But, to go through that $300 and separate the pre 1982 pennies, you'd have to check one penny per second for 8.5 hours.
Only if you're checking them by hand. Pre 1982 pennies weigh slightly more so you can use a machine to automatically sort them.
#22
Old 03-25-2013, 01:41 PM
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Copper, nickle and silver

Find jewelry molds, or or a sculptures mold of a lamp or statue and scrap it as art.
#23
Old 03-25-2013, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by electronbee View Post
The melting point between zinc and copper is pretty big. If you were to take a bunch of pennies, both pre-1982 and post-1982, and melt them down, you could pour most of the zinc out or take the copper out before it melts.

Or, if your crucible had a plug in the bottom, you could pull that and just drain the zinc. Then, melt the copper and drain that. You'd then have them mostly separated and who'd know?
The zinc is a good reason not to do this as a home project. You're likely to end up with zinc poisoning from the fumes. But if you were really intent on doing this you could throw in some plumbing copper to change the alloy composition. Even if you didn't, how much effort does the Treasury dept. put into tracking down penny melters?

Last edited by TriPolar; 03-25-2013 at 01:51 PM.
#24
Old 03-25-2013, 02:15 PM
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As far as the legality of melting pennies for profit, here's a page (dated 04/17/2007) from the United States Mint website:
http://usmint.gov/pressroom/inde...release&ID=771

Basically it is illegal.
#25
Old 03-25-2013, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wolf_meister View Post
As far as the legality of melting pennies for profit, here's a page (dated 04/17/2007) from the United States Mint website:
http://usmint.gov/pressroom/inde...release&ID=771

Basically it is illegal.
Damn, now I'm confused. An agency can make a "regulation" that is essentially a criminal statute? Been a lawyer for over 25 years and didn't know that. I thought you had to violate a law before you had to go to jail.
#26
Old 03-25-2013, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
Damn, now I'm confused. An agency can make a "regulation" that is essentially a criminal statute? Been a lawyer for over 25 years and didn't know that. I thought you had to violate a law before you had to go to jail.
Nope. Going over the speed limit in a National Park is a violation of the Code of Federal Regulations, the punishment of which is also a CFR with up to 6 months and a $5k fine. They don't actually impose that much, but it is a huge incentive to plead guilty if the magistrate is handing out $250 fines. Found this out in 1995 when I got pulled over in Yosemite.
#27
Old 03-25-2013, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by electronbee View Post
The melting point between zinc and copper is pretty big. If you were to take a bunch of pennies, both pre-1982 and post-1982, and melt them down, you could pour most of the zinc out or take the copper out before it melts.

Or, if your crucible had a plug in the bottom, you could pull that and just drain the zinc. Then, melt the copper and drain that. You'd then have them mostly separated and who'd know?

If you were to use a waste-oil burner, and you got your waste-oil for free, you might turn a profit. But, this would be pennies on the dollar.
I know this is a zombie thread, but would this really work? AFAIK, alloys usually don't separate when you melt them; for example, 60/40 solder doesn't separate into tin and lead when you melt it (in fact, it melts at a lower temperature than either of its constituents, although brass melts at an intermediate temperature between copper and zinc).
#28
Old 03-25-2013, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
Damn, now I'm confused. An agency can make a "regulation" that is essentially a criminal statute? Been a lawyer for over 25 years and didn't know that. I thought you had to violate a law before you had to go to jail.
What kind of a lawyer were you? I hope you never dealt with either any criminal or regulatory cases (I'm not sure what really that leaves, actually...), because this is really government 101.

Of course a federal agency can't all by itself, out of the blue, just make any regulation in wants. But most federal agencies exist to implement laws duly passed by Congress, and in such laws Congress typically gave the agency power to make appropriate regulations (the agency must also in accordance with general federal laws about agencies, such as the Administrative Procedures Act, of course). I presume there's a federal law that gives the Treasury power to regulate coinage and currency, and that to date, the courts have not held that the regulation about melting is not authorized by that law. I'm sure a competent lawyer could even look up the exact statute and read it for themselves.
#29
Old 03-25-2013, 04:35 PM
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Nope. Going over the speed limit in a National Park is a violation of the Code of Federal Regulations, the punishment of which is also a CFR with up to 6 months and a $5k fine.
Try it on a military base some time. I was in a hurry to get to a Cub Scout meeting being held on active Air Force facilities when I got pulled over by two cop cars - Air Police? When they found out I was a civilian they weren't interested in busting my chops, but the Lieutenant very carefully explained the situation to the Sergeant, who very carefully explained it to the Airman, who very carefully explained it to me, and I kept my speed down to 34.5 MPH on that stretch forever more.
#30
Old 03-25-2013, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by NitroPress View Post
Try it on a military base some time. I was in a hurry to get to a Cub Scout meeting being held on active Air Force facilities when I got pulled over by two cop cars - Air Police? When they found out I was a civilian they weren't interested in busting my chops, but the Lieutenant very carefully explained the situation to the Sergeant, who very carefully explained it to the Airman, who very carefully explained it to me, and I kept my speed down to 34.5 MPH on that stretch forever more.
But a U.S. military reservation is different.

ObDisclaimer: never a laywer, but 21 years active duty and listening (and giving) recurring briefings on "The UCMJ and You!" means this is not completely foreign territory to me.

The controlling legal authority is the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is an actual law enacted by Congress to fulfill the Congressional obligation under the Constitution, Article I, Section 8: "To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;"

The thing is, the UCMJ isn't generally applicable to anyone not under command in the Armed Uniformed Forces of the United States. If you didn't raise the hand and swear the oath (or affirmation), it doesn't control you. But if you're on a military reservation and not a member of the services, you're there as a guest and they can eject you if they feel they need to. And in some cases, there's coordinated jurisdiction with the local municipality or state, so when they eject you, they turn you over to the waiting sheriff or local cops (if what you did violated a law or ordinance of the coordinating jurisdiction). Also, Federal laws apply pretty much unimpeded on a military reservation (so a bank robbery would still be an FBI case, probably... maybe there'd be some jurisdiction negotiations between the military investigative agency involved and the FBI..).

Now this is very general. There have been moves in the last few years, for instance, to make contractors operating overseas in association with a military facility subject to the UCMJ, simply because there were no other alternatives... for instance, we wouldn't make the contractors subject to local law in a recent battle zone, even if we trusted the existence of that local law, but then who would the contractors be accountable to? There were a lot of rather horrible incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan because contractors weren't legally accountable.

This would be a definitization of Clauses a.10 and a.11 of Article 2 of the UCMJ:
Quote:
Originally Posted by UCMJ
Article 2 of the UCMJ. Persons subject to this chapter

(a) The following persons are subject to this chapter:
...
(10) In time of war, persons serving with or accompanying an armed force in the field.

(11) Subject to any treaty or agreement to which the United States is or may be a party or to any accepted rule of international law, persons serving with, employed by, or accompanying the armed forces outside the United States and outside the Common-wealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

Last edited by gnoitall; 03-25-2013 at 06:52 PM.
#31
Old 03-25-2013, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
What kind of a lawyer were you? I hope you never dealt with either any criminal or regulatory cases (I'm not sure what really that leaves, actually...), because this is really government 101.

Of course a federal agency can't all by itself, out of the blue, just make any regulation in wants. But most federal agencies exist to implement laws duly passed by Congress, and in such laws Congress typically gave the agency power to make appropriate regulations (the agency must also in accordance with general federal laws about agencies, such as the Administrative Procedures Act, of course). I presume there's a federal law that gives the Treasury power to regulate coinage and currency, and that to date, the courts have not held that the regulation about melting is not authorized by that law. I'm sure a competent lawyer could even look up the exact statute and read it for themselves.
I probably over-stated my position. I do know that agencies have the power to draft regulations, and that those regulations act as "laws." But, in most cases, they are, as you say, acting according to laws passed by Congress. The article made it sound like the Mint thought this up itself.

In Samora v. United States, 406 F.2d 1095 (5th Cir.1969) the defendant was convicted of violating the Munitions Control Statute, 22 U.S.C. § 1934, and regulations under it, by attempting to export handguns to Mexico without an export license. It was a regulation, not a statute, that expressly forbade attempts to export unlawfully. The statute applied criminal sanctions to any person who willfully violated any statutory provision or any rule or regulation issued thereunder. The Samora Court reiterated the rule that “Congress may validly provide a criminal sanction for the violation of rules or regulations which it has empowered the President or an administrative agency to enact."

And. by god, with a little effort, I have found a law passed by Congress allowing such regulations.

Quote:
The Secretary may prohibit or limit the exportation, melting, or treatment of United States coins when the Secretary decides the prohibition or limitation is necessary to protect the coinage of the United States.
31 U.S.C. § 5111

I stand humbled and corrected.
#32
Old 02-03-2014, 06:19 PM
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not true

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Originally Posted by Jake Jones View Post
Yep. Pre-1983 US pennies and every goddamned US nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel) in the world is worth more than face value at scrap value, not even counting production cost. There is no way to trace the elemental metals from coins in any practical way. It's not a high profit enterprise to begin with, but it could be profitable on a large scale. Which is why it's illegal.

The Secret Service isn't going to bust your door down for melting down a few thousand coins a year, but they do look for trends that indicate large scale coin scrapping. Pre-1965 US quarters and dimes are 90% silver and very worthwhile to melt down.

Post-1982 pennies are mostly zinc and mostly worthless, but they still cost more than they're worth to produce. I'd like to see all of them gone. Is anyone really going to miss change of a quarter?
It is only copper cents (half of those minted in 1982 and all before) which are more than face value at this point. Nickels have not reached above face value yet. Costing more than face value to produce doesn't mean they are intrinsically worth more than face value. Costing more to produce than they are worth on face value is nothing you're able to sell to a scrap dealer, in other words.

Also, the government could theoretically tell based on the alloy. If you simply melt copper pennies and don't try to remove the zinc and/or tin in them which comprise 5% of the weight, they could tell that way. However, as I said that's only theoretical. I don't think it's realistically ever going to happen unless it becomes a widespread and well-known problem. And that could happen if pennies start breaking the 3 and 4 cent mark on their melt value. Then it might start becoming worth taking the risk.
#33
Old 02-03-2014, 06:29 PM
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correction

This is the reply I wanted to make but the system didn't allow due to a timeout:

Post-1982 pennies are mostly zinc and mostly worthless, but they still cost more than they're worth to produce. I'd like to see all of them gone. Is anyone really going to miss change of a quarter?[/QUOTE]

It is only copper cents (half of those minted in 1982 and all before) which are more than face value at this point. Nickels have not reached above face value yet. Costing more than face value to produce doesn't mean they are intrinsically worth more than face value. The cost to produce is nothing you're able to sell to a scrap dealer, in other words. All they care about is melt value, not production value.

As to worrying about the government, they could theoretically tell based on the alloy. If you simply melt copper pennies and don't try to remove the zinc and/or tin in them which comprise 5% of the weight, they could speculate you might be up to something...but they still can't prove it directly. However, as I said that's only theoretical. I don't think it's realistically ever going to happen unless it becomes a widespread and well-known problem and someone brings attention to themselves by regularly hauling large quantities of copper to scrap yards and someone follows them and finds they are buying large quanties of pennies on a regular basis, then does a simple connect the dots. Those scenarios could happen if pennies start breaking the 3 and 4 cent mark on their melt value and causes people to think they can make a full time living selling copper.
#34
Old 02-03-2014, 06:30 PM
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It is only copper cents (half of those minted in 1982 and all before) which are more than face value at this point. Nickels have not reached above face value yet. Costing more than face value to produce doesn't mean they are intrinsically worth more than face value. The cost to produce is nothing you're able to sell to a scrap dealer, in other words. All they care about is melt value, not production value.

As to worrying about the government, they could theoretically tell based on the alloy. If you simply melt copper pennies and don't try to remove the zinc and/or tin in them which comprise 5% of the weight, they could speculate you might be up to something...but they still can't prove it directly. However, as I said that's only theoretical. I don't think it's realistically ever going to happen unless it becomes a widespread and well-known problem and someone brings attention to themselves by regularly hauling large quantities of copper to scrap yards and someone follows them and finds they are buying large quanties of pennies on a regular basis, then does a simple connect the dots. Those scenarios could happen if pennies start breaking the 3 and 4 cent mark on their melt value and causes people to think they can make a full time living selling copper.
#35
Old 02-03-2014, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Jake Jones View Post
Post-1982 pennies are mostly zinc and mostly worthless, but they still cost more than they're worth to produce. I'd like to see all of them gone. Is anyone really going to miss change of a quarter?
My former cow-orker & I used to amuse ourselves on the graveyard shift by melting pennies. We always wondered why pre-'83 pennies wouldn't melt, but now it makes more...umm...cents.

Last edited by buddha_david; 02-03-2014 at 06:45 PM.
#36
Old 02-03-2014, 07:20 PM
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It's quite easy to separate the inner zinc from the copper shell on a '83 or up U.S. cent. Just nick the edge, and hold it over a hot flame with pliers. The zinc will melt and drip out of the copper cladding. A propane torch works fast, and one must take care to avoid vaporizing the shell. What others have said about zinc fumes applies.
#37
Old 02-04-2014, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by thelabdude View Post
I also doubt it is easy to find much in the way of real metal coins in circulation.
I work as a cashier, and not only to I see pre-1982 pennies so often that I gave up trying to save them all, but I see pre-1960 pennies several times a week, usually ones from the 40s.
I also see a fair number of silver dimes, and occasionally quarters.

And a 1964 (silver) half-dollar about twice a year. A silver dollar about half that often. (And I mean silver, like with Liberty on the front, and pushing 100 years old, not the impractical Eisenhower dollars from the 70s, though I get those too.)

My prizes are a 1oz commemorative fine silver dollar from the 80s that somebody spent, and the time some clown brought me another commemorative coin and said "Will you take this? It's five dollars, right?" I looked at the coin, saw it said "5 US Dollars" on it, and promptly said, "It says five dollars right there. Yes. Yes, I will give you five dollars for that." and made it clear I was giving him a $5 bill from my pocket to spend on his purchases.
Which is how I came to own a coin that says "1/10oz fine gold" on it.

(I have tried involving the police, as folks who possess such things with no clue what they are worth likely stole them, but it never comes to anything.)
#38
Old 02-04-2014, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Fubaya View Post
But, to go through that $300 and separate the pre 1982 pennies, you'd have to check one penny per second for 8.5 hours.

I'm pretty sure that's impossible, ....
I happen to have timed myself rolling pennies.
I found out the store I work at takes the coins donated to charity to Coinstar, which charges 8% for counting them, so I decided to try turning them into rolled change I could sell to the store and keeping the 8% for my time. My goal was to make $5 an hour.
I could do that rolling nickles, dimes, and/or quarters, but I couldn't do it counting pennies.

By my rough estimate, just counting and rolling $300 in pennies (not checking the dates on them) would take about 5 hours.
#39
Old 02-04-2014, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
I have seen bags of silver bags sold for more than the silver value, so it seems like they are worth more left in coin form. "$1000 face" is a common bag weight.
SOME coins are more valuable in coin form.

My stepfather would, as a hobby, buy bulk bags of silver dollars, sort them to find the few that were actually worth something, due to their condition and/or date, then sell the rest back by the pound.
He made money at it, but more because he'd buy while the price was down and sell when it was up than because he found a couple of coins that were worth more than their metal. It didn't cover his time, but he REALLY liked sorting things, and so it let him make a little money of something he'd be doing anyway.
#40
Old 02-04-2014, 01:18 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Posts: 854
I saw a financial guru of some sort, I believe he was a guest on the Daily Show, and he was saying that he recommended investing in copper US coins and nickles for their metal value, because buying their metal content at face value is a bargain. He stressed that actually melting them was illegal, but hoarding them is not.
He said that he had gone to his bank to try and get $100,000 in nickles, and they said he had to get them from the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Reserve had asked why he wanted $100,000 in nickles. He said he had replied, "I just really like nickles," and this had satisfied them, so now he owns $100,000 in nickles.
#41
Old 02-04-2014, 04:08 PM
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Nickel. It's spelled nickel.

Carry on.
#42
Old 02-04-2014, 05:49 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 3,462
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpyOne View Post
I saw a financial guru of some sort, I believe he was a guest on the Daily Show, and he was saying that he recommended investing in copper US coins and nickles for their metal value, because buying their metal content at face value is a bargain. He stressed that actually melting them was illegal, but hoarding them is not.
He said that he had gone to his bank to try and get $100,000 in nickles, and they said he had to get them from the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Reserve had asked why he wanted $100,000 in nickles. He said he had replied, "I just really like nickles," and this had satisfied them, so now he owns $100,000 in nickles.
So now he has two million nickels lying around that he can legally hoard, but not legally melt down. Basically, he can't do anything with it - and while he's hoarding them, the storage costs (and the foregone interes or dividends that he could have gained investing the $100,000 in a more conventional manner) are ongoing costs. What's the point? Melting them down eventually anway, even though it's illegal? Waiting for the ban on defacing currency to be lifted? Doesn't sound like a very solid business model to me.
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