Friday, January 09, 2015

More Copper, and More Crap

The other day when I wrote about sifting through the coins I had on hand to find and retain the pennies that contain valuable copper, I remarked toward the end on how I noticed that post-1982 pennies were of noticeably lesser quality than their earlier mostly copper versions. I wondered if that was just a fluke only to be found in the small sample of pennies I had around.

One of the things I like about my main gig, pest control, is that I walk around outside a lot while doing it. That frequently puts me in places where people drop change. Today was one of those days, and I found several pennies and a nickel while I was out in the field. Among the pennies I found two coppers, and the rest were post-1982 zinc fiat garbage. Once again, I found the pattern:

From left to right, on top are the two coppers, which are a 1975 and a 1982. Below them are the post-1982 zinc pennies I found today, a 1987, 1989, 1997, and that one on the end, which once again I swear is a penny, was minted in 2013

It seems that the copper pennies truly are made of tougher stuff, while the mostly zinc pennies that followed them starting in 1983 simply can't hold up to ordinary use. What garbage these things have become! A perfect representative symbol of the government that stands behind them.

The two copper pennies have joined the others that I found in my change jar when I sorted through it looking for them, bringing the total to 108, which as of the time of this writing is worth $2.00.

The four non-copper fiat garbage pennies and the nickel, the materials composing each being worth less than the face values of those coins, will be deposited at my bank. 

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