Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Please remember to say a little prayer for our service men and women who are away from their families this holiday season. Pray that this great nation will awaken and be truly thankful to God just as George Washington was.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Coinroll hunting with a twist

With the weather outside cold and rainy I thought it would be a good time to buy a few rolls of pennies and sort through them. Stopping in at a local bank, I drop two rolls of half dollars on the counter and ask the teller for twenty dollars worth of pennies. As usual, I get that oh so common strange look. While she is sliding the box full of penny rolls toward me, she asks me if I'm sure I want them. With a straight face and no further explanation, I assure her I do.

Once home I joyfully start unwrapping the rolls in search of my beloved wheat cents and it doesn't take long to go through the forty rolls. Luck was on my side and I found five "Wheaties". Normally I start putting the coins back into rolls but today I decided to do a little test.

Pennies dated prior to 1982 are 95% copper and it takes 145 of them to make a pound. 1982 was a transitional year so some are copper and some are zinc. The easiest way to tell which is which is to weigh them. A copper penny will weigh 3.11 grams while a zinc is 2.5 grams. You can also do this test for the somewhat rare 1983 copper penny.

Out of the twenty dollars worth of pennies I purchased, 394 were copper. I had 68 1982 pennies that I didn't test. There were also five wheat cents, a Canadian penny, and a 1976 & 1960 that were in mint red condition. With spot prices at $3.34 that means I had $9.07 in scrap copper value.

Hoarding of copper pennies isn't an unknown thing and with the cost of producing a penny exceeding it's value, I think it's days are numbered. At this time it is illegal to melt pennies for scrap, but with the high prices of copper that may soon change.

I have mixed feelings on this. I'm all for making a profit, but I would hate to see large quantities of old pennies being permanently taken out of circulation. I think that future generations should have the chance to experience the same joy I get from roll hunting.

Good luck and good hunting!