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1975 US Cent | silver colored?

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Valued Member
United States
99 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2008  1:48 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Chaotech to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Ok, first i'll tell you the story... I have had this coin since I was about 8yrs old... I'm 24 yrs old now, I found it in some change and because it looked odd I've kept it ever since...

It is a 1975 penny that is composed of some silver material... weather it be Nickel, Steel, or Aluminum I do not know...

I have scowered the internet trying to find SOMETHING about it... however I have found very little...

I do know that in 1974 they did a test printing of aluminum pennies listed at this linkg...
http://www.uspatterns.com/p2084.html

What I recently found is that they actually printed 66 aluminum pennies in 1975 also.
http://uspatterns.com/j2155.html

While I SERIOUSLY doubt that my coin is in fact one of the 66 coins produced... simply because the odds of that are fewer than winning the lottery, I still am amused, excited, curious... whatever it may be.. I wanna know what this coin is...

I put it against a magnet, it does not stick... it is not paint because the thickness of the penny is the same as a regular penny I measured with a micrometer...

How can I find out what type of metal it is... and could it be possible that it is electro-plated? Wouldnt the thickness of the penny increase with electro-plating?

Edited by Sap
04/22/2008 06:52 am
Pillar of the Community
United States
790 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2008  1:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jays-Dad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If it is aluminum, it would be notably lighter than a regular cent, you could weigh it. However, aluminum coins have a look to them, far more dull than shiny. It is probably electroplated which would technically increase the thickness, but electroplating involves covering in a layer that is really thin and making it stick using the "electrical" properties of the different metals involved. Electroplating adds VERY little metal.
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 Posted 04/16/2008  2:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KurtS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Weighing on a good scale should decide whether it's plated or solid metal. I could not find the exact weight for an Al cent, but it should be significantly less.
Valued Member
United States
99 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2008  3:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Chaotech to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I will try and find a scale I can weigh it on... it is very dull, i'll try to post a pic...
Valued Member
United States
165 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2008  3:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BobK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 1974/1975 aluminum cent weighed 0.937 grams according to Wikipedia, which is less than one third the weight of a copper cent (3.11 gm). The difference would be quite noticeable even without a scale.
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5318 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2008  3:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KurtS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Bob, ah--I saw that too, but the 0.937 gr. just didn't click...it almost unbelievably light! Then again, Al coins are noticeably light.
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United States
1827 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2008  4:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add snowman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
...the 0.937 gr. just didn't click...it almost unbelievably light


When compared to world coins of a similar size that are made from aluminum that weight seems reasonable. I just happen to have a 1 Thebe from Botswana sitting on my desk(doesn't everybody?). It's a hair thinner and has a slightly smaller diameter than a penny and weighs about 0.8g.

However, I seriously doubt the authenticity of that penny. If it is real, I'll eat the 1 Thebe.
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5318 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2008  5:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KurtS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Snowman, agreed--hard to visualize as I don't have any Al coins save for a Belize coin. Mostly heavy coppers from Canada, Aus, and Scandinavia.

quote:
If it is real, I'll eat the 1 Thebe.


At least it's "light...less filling"
Pillar of the Community
United States
656 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2008  7:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 1337 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If it is real. the US Secret Service will make a trip to your house and confisicate it( they're Illgeal). So its a lose-lose situation. :(
Edited by 1337
04/16/2008 7:31 pm
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 Posted 04/16/2008  8:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KurtS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"So its a lose-lose situation"

Unless you immediately auction it somewhere like Canada or Europe. If genuine, it would be well-worth the trip. Just don't write "contraband aluminum penny" on your customs form
Disclaimer: I'm (sort of) joking.
Edited by KurtS
04/16/2008 9:21 pm
Valued Member
United States
336 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2008  10:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add toniblab to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
the goverment will go to that country and get it back! remember the 1933 $20.gold pc.the goverment got it back.this is the only coin that was sold a few years ago for 7 million dollars
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 Posted 04/16/2008  10:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bobby131313 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
If it is real. the US Secret Service will make a trip to your house and confisicate it( they're Illgeal). So its a lose-lose situation. :(

The government and ICG don't seem too worried about this one.
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Australia
11178 Posts
 Posted 04/17/2008  03:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Back to the coin at hand...

It's most likely simply been electroplated. Zinc is relatively easy to plate onto a copper/bronze coin. Electroplating deposits such a thin layer of metal onto the surface that it doesn't detectably alter the weight or thickness.

I have a "silver" Australian 2 coin that I know was electroplated with zinc, because my dad made it as part of a chemistry demonstration.

If it was a "quick job", one thing to look for on your coin is a small patch on the rim where the plating is absent and the copper shows through - this would be where the wire was attached. It's not too hard to obscure this telltale spot (simply detach the wire, re-attach it somewhere that's already been plated, and put it back in the solution), but it's presence is a definite giveaway.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
New Member
United States
1 Posts
 Posted 04/18/2008  09:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gregoc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I bet it is electo-plated. I just came across a similar 1974 penny and weighed it on a laboratory scale along with a 1974 copper coin.
The copper penny weighed 3.1294 grams and the "silver" penny weighed 3.1446 grams.
Valued Member
United States
99 Posts
 Posted 04/19/2008  4:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Chaotech to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yea I just found a local coin shop that has scales to measure these coins so I'm going to make a trip down there on lunch one day next week...
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