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Need help with a 1983D penny. Copper or zinc?  
 

 
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 Posted 08/12/2017  10:09 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add GDN to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
When I put my 1983D penny on my digital food scale it starts out at 2.0g then jumps to 3.0g. Once it went to 4.0g. Is there a sure way to tell if this is copper or zinc? And what kind of scale should I use? I included pics...

Thank you for your response,

Gail

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United States
1163 Posts
 Posted 08/12/2017  11:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add RoyCoinBoy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It doesn't sound like your scale is very accurate. Maybe try resetting / recallibrating it?
People often question my "strange" or "weird" hobby of coin collecting. I think of these people as the common, "pocket change" people. Nothing unique about them. They question those who are different, call them "weird" for not being average. Those who have these strange hobbies are the "rarity" people. They are the "weird". The "quirky." Those who are different from the group are the Morgan dollars in a pile of modern dimes.
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 Posted 08/12/2017  1:18 pm  Show Profile   Check Errors and Varietys's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Errors and Varietys to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Errors And Varietys.
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 Posted 08/12/2017  1:18 pm  Show Profile   Check Crazyb0's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Crazyb0 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Your digital FOOD scale sounds set for only grams, no tenths, correct? If that be the case, it will round up a 2.6gr to 3.0, and round down a 3.11 to 3.0. Get a better, more accurate scale calibrated to tenths at least, hundredths is better.

That said, your pix aren't real clear nor are true color. By what is shown, the refractive quality looks like a copper planchet, BUT, I do see what appears to be "Plating bubbles" which only occur on zinc planchet coins. Jury's still out...


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Edited by Crazyb0
08/12/2017 1:20 pm
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 Posted 08/12/2017  2:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Is there a sure way to tell if this is copper or zinc?


I agree that weighing on a more precise scale would help you to know. Otherwise, you could resort to a more destructive method.
"It certainly strikes the beholder with astonishment, to perceive what vast difficulties can be overcome by the pigmy arms of little mortal man, aided by science and directed by superior skill." --Henry VIII
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United States
102 Posts
 Posted 08/12/2017  5:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Benja to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you flick and flip a copper cent into the air with your thumbnail it should make a ringing noise. Doing the same thing with a zinc cent makes a "thud" or no ringing noise. It may not be as safe as a scale but it's reliable. That's what I do to all 1983 cents I have, try to ring it, because I don't have a good scale.
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 Posted 08/12/2017  5:29 pm  Show Profile   Check Crazyb0's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Crazyb0 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another way to measure is the popsickle stick teetertotter. Glue a copper to one side, determine center(mark it) with copper cent on other side, zinc won't move it, copper will balance.
"I paused to think, then I forgot to start back up" Bumper Sticker
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 Posted 08/12/2017  6:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add GDN to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you everyone. The more I examined it, even if it looks copper to me, when I compare it to other pennies, I believe it's zinc. Again, Thank you for all your help! I'm learning something new everyday with this community!
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