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How To Tell Whether Or Not It's A Copper Penny

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 14 / Views: 391Next Topic  
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 Posted 09/20/2022  06:41 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add brickmasterjimmy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
How do you tell the difference between copper and zinc.
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 Posted 09/20/2022  06:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Petespockets55 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you are referring to Lincoln cents it is the weight.

Zinc cents should be 2.5 grams
Copper cents should be 3.1 grams.

Another way is to do an XRF scan to determine the metallic content.
Words of encouragement are one of the major food groups.
We need to consume them regularly to thrive and grow.
Edited by Petespockets55
09/20/2022 06:51 am
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16251 Posts
 Posted 09/20/2022  06:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JimmyD to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just weigh it.
Copper= 3.11g
Zinc= 2.5 g
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 Posted 09/20/2022  07:16 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Weight using an accurate scale, as above.
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 Posted 09/20/2022  07:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Do not forget to factor in mint tolerance and wear loss.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
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 Posted 09/20/2022  07:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DiscoLover82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you don't have a scale sufficiently precise to detect the difference, you can devise a makeshift balance scale just using common household items.

Take a pencil (a hexagonal one, I should emphasize - not a fully round one) and center a ruler on top of it. Put a cent you know to be copper on one side of the ruler, and your 1982 cent on the other. If the 1982 cent end is sticking up in the air, and the end with the known copper cent is now touching the surface underneath it, you know your 1982 cent weighs less - and is therefore zinc.
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 Posted 09/20/2022  09:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add brickmasterjimmy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks guys, but here's a good one..... What would wieght the same as copper and is used? I know this isn't copper, and don't think it's zinc either. This may be the answer to my ' silver 71 Kennedy that y'all say doesn't exist. Check out the pic
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 Posted 09/20/2022  09:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yikes, that looks highly damaged, which is a shame. What does it weigh?
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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 Posted 09/20/2022  10:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add brickmasterjimmy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
3.1 it came out of a toilet seat lid I bought. 1883 Morgan, several 64 Washington quarters in Ms condition, 64- 71 Kennedy halves ,also pristine along with Penny's nickels including buffalos,.... Here's a pic
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 Posted 09/20/2022  11:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add coop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you take a pre 1982 cent and a post 1983 cent, and place in each hand, I can feel the weight differences. I had someone try that, that was not a collector and he could tell the difference also. But the weight is the differences as mentioned above. Visually you can often see the copper plating over the zinc dust on the early Zincoln's. The surface looks rough.

This was an issue for years until they figured out the cause. The zinc dust under the plating. From time to time, we still these this on some examples. But a better rinse fixed most of these issues in the past early years. (Which wasn't fixed until several years had passed on the coin going forwards)
Richard S. Cooper
Some have asked about my images I use and I'm glad to say, you can now you can see the DVD in sections on youtube:
1. Intro, older coins, toned coins 2. Doubled dies 3. Die events, One of a kind errors 4. So called errors, Coin information 5. Coin information Types and Varieties, Overlays
Jefferson nickel doubled dies Wexler/Rebar complete listings

trail dies:http://www.traildies.com/
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 Posted 09/20/2022  11:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ynnad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Drop a copper penny and a zinc penny on a hard surface. I can tell a difference in the sounds. Can you?
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 Posted 09/20/2022  11:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add coop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One rings and the other thuds like it was plastic. The thud is the zinc cent.
Richard S. Cooper
Some have asked about my images I use and I'm glad to say, you can now you can see the DVD in sections on youtube:
1. Intro, older coins, toned coins 2. Doubled dies 3. Die events, One of a kind errors 4. So called errors, Coin information 5. Coin information Types and Varieties, Overlays
Jefferson nickel doubled dies Wexler/Rebar complete listings

trail dies:http://www.traildies.com/
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 Posted 09/20/2022  6:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dearborn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
yup, weight and drop tests are good ways to determine the difference of 1982 cent coins. if dated after 1982 - Zinc, if dated before 1982 - Copper.
Another much more destructive (and not recommended) would be to cut it in half and see if there is a silver colored metal inside it. But please DON'T cut up a coin.
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 Posted 09/20/2022  9:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Petespockets55 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hold on a minute.
Did the OP just tell us this damaged coin is from the toilet seat, is a 1971, and has a silver color in the center?

Please include an image of both surfaces, a weight, and a clear closeup of the area in question.

Next step might be to get an XRF scan done of it if you think it's not copper. Pawn shops and jewelers might be able to do one.

EDIT: ps. What did the lid set you back?
Words of encouragement are one of the major food groups.
We need to consume them regularly to thrive and grow.
Edited by Petespockets55
09/20/2022 9:07 pm
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 Posted 09/20/2022  9:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Good point @pete, I'm not sure that we know the date on this cent. Can you please post overall pics of the cent @brick? Thx.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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