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Please Explain Red Pennies

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Valued Member
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 Posted 10/30/2020  4:55 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
HI all, another beginner question for you all:

What is a RED penny?

Is this a type of toning, or did they have this mysterious "RED" when minted? What era did these occur in? Is the color easily spotted?

Nells
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 Posted 10/30/2020  5:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply



This should explain things. It refers to an as minted, bright copper finish which leans towards a shade of red. Only mint State coins, no au or lower, can be classified as such.
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 Posted 10/30/2020  5:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bobby131313 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here ya go, CCFPress served this up just for you: http://goccf.com/t/385349
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 Posted 10/30/2020  5:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
OH!

But doesn't that mean a 2020 penny right out of the mint is "red", even though it doesn't look "red"? Sounds like "red" simply means the more orange-coppery color compared to the brown patina most older pennies get? Am I reading this right?
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 Posted 10/30/2020  6:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Adam_E to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Correct Nells, here's an MS 69 RD cent from 2019: https://www.ebay.com/itm/2019-FIRST...AOSwtSlfSR60

"Red" is a reference to the original luster evident on the coin. "orange" may be a better descriptor of the actual color, but "red" became standard.
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 Posted 11/02/2020  11:21 am  Show Profile   Check BadThad's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BadThad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
"Red" is a reference to the original luster evident on the coin


Red refers to the color, not the luster. Luster is how shiny a coin is, i.e. cartwheel luster, and has nothing to do with color. A full brown coin can have luster.
Lincoln Cent Lover!
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 Posted 11/02/2020  12:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Big-Kingdom to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
According to PCGS:

The definition of a Red cent is a coin that has at least 95% Red and up to 100% Red surfaces.
The definition of a Red Brown cent is a coin that contains from 5% to 95% Red surfaces.
The definition of a Brown cent is a copper coin that contains 5% Red surfaces or less, but its surfaces are mostly Brown.

really it's any copper coins though.
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 Posted 11/02/2020  1:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dieuwer to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
According to PCGS:

The definition of a Red cent is a coin that has at least 95% Red and up to 100% Red surfaces.
The definition of a Red Brown cent is a coin that contains from 5% to 95% Red surfaces.
The definition of a Brown cent is a copper coin that contains 5% Red surfaces or less, but its surfaces are mostly Brown.


Sorry, but the definition of "Red Brown" is waaay to broad...5% to 95? Seriously?
Edited by Dieuwer
11/02/2020 1:03 pm
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 Posted 11/02/2020  2:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add EDM to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm familiar with copper plumbing, which stays bright copper red unless you touch it with your hands, and then it turns brown. I'm assuming that copper/alloy coins work the same way, that a "red" cent is one that has not been touched by human hands.
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 Posted 11/02/2020  2:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add willieboyd2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I also have a "red penny" or "red cent" of a different kind:


United States Cent 1934-D

It has been painted red at one time.

I had heard a long time ago that travelling circuses and carnivals would paint pennies red and put them into circulation as a form of advertising.

Has anyone else seen this story?


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Edited by willieboyd2
11/02/2020 2:29 pm
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 Posted 11/02/2020  2:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
willieboyd2 - perhaps that is the source of the phrase "not worth one red cent"? ;-)

Interesting how "red" isn't "red" as such. At least now I understand what it implies. Reminds me of some early stamps where varieties get confusing thanks to the shade of the inks, even some of the papers!
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 Posted 11/02/2020  7:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For me it's just a misleading terminology of a coins color. Not really Red. Just sort of Red. However, there are many shades and varidations of Red so could be correct.
just carl
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 Posted 11/02/2020  10:36 pm  Show Profile   Check BadThad's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BadThad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I also have a "red penny" or "red cent" of a different kind:


When red is NOT red!

While your coin may certainly be different, I've seen this type of red toning many times on cents. For what I've seen, it's real toning and is unaffected by everything from water to solvents.
Lincoln Cent Lover!
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 Posted 11/06/2020  4:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I just posted a 1966 penny I found today that (to me anyway) is really nice looking:
http://goccf.com/t/1902&whichpage=269#3304177

Would that be considered "red"?
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 Posted 11/18/2020  6:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ran across this video, really helped me understand "red" and "brown"

gwFPErW_g9c
Edited by Nells250
11/18/2020 6:05 pm
Valued Member
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163 Posts
 Posted 11/18/2020  7:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dieuwer to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Gorgeous coins in that video!

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