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Copper coin hoarding ?

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Rest in Peace
United States
3039 Posts
 Posted 02/18/2009  08:13 am Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add numismo to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

I've read many posts about roll searchers hoarding the copper coins they find. I've also started to do it on a small scale. My question is-is it really worth it ? Copper is about $1.46/lb and there are 146 copper cents per pound. You are accumulating them at melt value with no premium over that such as when you buy gold or silver. What are the chances that copper will double or better in price any more so than other precious metals you could invest in. I guess my answer to that is that the dollar value put away isn"t too great and a cent will always be a cent. OK I answered my own question. Any other comments ?

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290 Posts
 Posted 02/18/2009  08:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add novillero to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I dunno. The realcent forum has a lot of hoarders. They even buy the machines that can sort the copper from the zinc. I save my coppers separately... I have bought boxes, but used it as an excuse to fill books, and hoarding was a by product. I think the price of copper has to go through the roof in order to justify it. I have a large copper kettle that I through all my non-wheat coppers into.

Right now, in a recession, I would think that the need for copper is at a low and hence the price.
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254 Posts
 Posted 02/18/2009  09:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rkp to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
When I first started roll hunting I just saved the wheats and anything "interesting". Then I got to thinking that since I'm looking at the dates and sorting through each coin anyway, I might as well keep the copper ones since as you said its only one cent and not tying up too much "coin capital".

"What are the chances that copper will double or better in price any more so than other precious metals you could invest in"... The difference is that if you invest in gold or silver it can easily drop by say 20% easily (about 2 months ago gold was $200 less than where it is right now). A cent will at worse always be a cent, you can't "loose" money hoarding copper. The only downside is the opportunity cost of having the money in the bank earning 2 or 3%, or in another coin.
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 Posted 02/18/2009  09:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CoinHunter53562 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Last year copper was nearly double what it is now, so many people were making a bit of a profit doing it. So it has a potential upside but also could never go much above where it is now. Either way, it is a double edge sword of sorts in that it's a hedge against both inflation (value will rise as with other metal commodities) and deflation (you have cash, and paid face value for it).

Some people are in the camp that think it will trade on similar levels to junk silver today (in other words 10x face value). While that would be nice, I dont see it hitting quite that level.

I am one that hoards copper, but not on the level that other guys on realcent do. I hand sort, look for wheats and other varieties, and then store the leftover coppers. It's an easy way to have a savings account at home. Sure I am missing out on the 0.6% interest my bank offers. I consider it part of a well rounded savings portfolio that includes cash and PM's as well.
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 Posted 02/18/2009  10:08 am  Show Profile Check jgfindring's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jgfindring to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I am unclear on how even when copper was so high last year people were making a profit on hoarded copper cents. With it being illegal to melt them, who are they selling them to for melt value?
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 Posted 02/18/2009  10:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add breakintheweb to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The law didn't take affect until december 2006. Before then it was legal to melt them.
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290 Posts
 Posted 02/18/2009  10:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add novillero to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I am unclear on how even when copper was so high last year people were making a profit on hoarded copper cents. With it being illegal to melt them, who are they selling them to for melt value?


speculators. It may be legal to melt in the future, and copper has an intrinsic value even if it is not melted.
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 Posted 02/18/2009  11:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CoinHunter53562 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I am unclear on how even when copper was so high last year people were making a profit on hoarded copper cents. With it being illegal to melt them, who are they selling them to for melt value?


It's quite simple...they were getting about $90 average for $50 face, so they were profiting about $40 per $50 face, and as someone mentioned above they were selling them to speculators.

One thing that is often left out of the illegal to melt copper cents discussions is the fact that if you do it, and are left with an ingot or blob of copper, how do you prove that they were LMC's at one time? I am not condoning this behavior by any means, but the fact remains that it's impossible to prove what they were originally after being melted.

Other info....you can ship them out of the country, but there is a limit (I believe its 10000 copper cents) and once out of the country you can melt them. Also, Canadian cents can be melted for their copper as far as I know and some Canadian cents (depending on the year) have more copper than the US cent.
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 Posted 02/18/2009  11:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add daviscfad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I hoard the cents and am part of the realcent forum.. Some of those guys are true high rolling hoarders I am gonna get there one day... I do not go out and search Lincoln cents much but when I do I keep the coppers.. I keep everyone I see in change.. I honestly think the copper memorials will be the next wheats down the road...
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 Posted 02/18/2009  11:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I hoard them; not as bullion, but to save them from being melted!
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311 Posts
 Posted 02/18/2009  12:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PennehChaos to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Barely six months ago copper touched $4/lb, after two years of prices being in the $3/lb vicinity... It wasn't until the media discovered we'd been in a recession for a year and everything finance-related went berserk *rolls eyes* that copper tanked to 2005 levels.

So, after 2009 I figure Treasury will either re-alloy the cent to Al or steel, or get rid of it, and after a couple years it'll be legal to melt them again.

In the meantime, I'm not too worried about the future value of copper unless someone discovers a cheaper and more efficient metal to transmit electrical power through. For now, cash is doing a heck of a lot better than the mutual funds in my 401(k).

And copper melts at around 1800F, which is a bit much for your kitchen stove, but not out of the question on a waste-oil furnace rig. If you want to talk science :) Ingots might be worth more or less than cents, since cents have a known copper content, and most scrap dealers don't have the facilities to test the composition of an unknown alloy... depends how they would classify it.
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 Posted 02/18/2009  4:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sfwusc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think it would go as copper #2 anyway as it is only 95% pure. I have heard of people that use 95% copper/5% zinc mix in their products using those cents as the raw material instead of buying it. Of course that and selling drugs are illegal, so it isn't done anymore.

You can safely assume that no other metal is going to work like copper unless you want to use silver/gold. They are in the same group of elements and therefore have similar properties.

Unununium is in that group too, but it is man made....so I am assuming it isn't going to be cheap. :) (It was made in a lab in 1994 and I think the melting point and boiling point are still unknown)

-SWUSC
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296 Posts
 Posted 02/18/2009  7:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bowfin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I save copper pennies. I have over $1,200 worth. I like the Canadian pennies better. They are 98% pure. I see copper pennies them being bought and sold as "junk copper" in the not too distant future much in the same way that junk silver is now.

Even if and when the melt ban gets lifted, I feel a lot of them won't get melted for that very reason. Look at how many pre '65 silver coins are still around... They didn't all get melted down.

Copper is a semi precious metal. Like precious metals, it preserves buying power in an inflationary environment.

Unlike pre '34 gold and junk silver, or silver and gold eagles, I can buy copper at face value. Even if copper goes to less than a dollar a pound for the next hundred years, it is still 1 cent, exactly what I paid for it.
Edited by Bowfin
02/18/2009 7:46 pm
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 Posted 02/19/2009  09:55 am  Show Profile Check BadThad's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BadThad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=current+melt+value+of+coins
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 Posted 02/19/2009  10:03 am  Show Profile Check BadThad's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BadThad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting forum, never heard of it until now:

http://realcent.forumco.com/default.asp

A quick look around there and you'll see what copper hoarding is all about.
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3992 Posts
 Posted 02/19/2009  11:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add daviscfad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
those guys are high rolling hoarders
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