Mr. B Coins's Blog

28 Jan 2021

I have a question

Coins-United States | Mr. B Coins

I have a question, but apparently can't ask it because I have no friends. So I'm putting on the blog.My question is this, the 1982 cent has either a large date or a small date (this is confusing enough), but, they also come in either copper or zinc. What is the easiest or best way to tell if the coin is copper or zinc.I know this is probably a very basic question and something I should already know, but I don't.Thank you in advance. Who knows maybe we can even become friends.
Jim Flannery


Long Beard

Level 5

Weight is the easiest way to tell. Up to 1982, they weighed 3.11 grams. Afterwards, 2.5 grams.


Level 5

Welcome to the ANA, as recommended by others, the Red Book can help with weights vs types, as well as much more. Never hesitate q reach out to others. Again, Welcome!


Level 6

Now I know the answer too thanks to all of the other comments ; ) haha So with that said... I can just welcome you and wish you great times here on the ANA web-site! Lots of good people and information here!


Level 6

You, my new friend, need to get a scale and a Red Book. I hate to recommend them but eBay is a great place for a scale. Make sure it weighs at least into the tenths of a gram. I like to go one more, a hundredth of a gram. You may need that later on. Mike already gave you the weights. You picked the year the mint changed the copper content in the middle if the year. Good question. All questions are good and welcome here. Thanks.🐍


Level 4

Drop it on a hard surface if it rings it's copper if it makes a clunk it isn't. Also use a gram scale

I. R. Bama

Level 5

DON'T Drop them, they could get damaged.. just weigh them


Level 5

Ditto @Mike B, you will want to have a scale that weighs in grams. There are a few other techniques, but they aren't as efficient. And welcome to the ANA!


Level 5

Weigh them if you can. Mike B. Has the best advice. Welcome to the site !


Level 7

Weigh them the zink will be 2.5 gm. Copper will be 3.11 gm. I would suggest a Red book. And welcome To the ANA!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Good question, I don't know either but thanks to Longstrider, now I do, so I'm glad you asked.


Level 5

Hey, good morning Jim! Don't worry, everyone has to learn this stuff and some point. Haha, until just now, I didn't even know there were zinc varieties, and I have been collecting 7 years! Thats the most wonderful thing about this site... We all learn new things every day no matter how long we have been collecting. I would venture to say that weighing the coin on a scale would be the best way to distinguish the two. Since zinc and copper have different weights, they should vary enough for distinction. Since I am unfamiliar with the coin, I am not sure what the exact weights would be, but I hope others here can help you out. Welcome to the site my friend, and feel free to contact me any time. We are all very friendly here, and invite you to join the community no matter what level of knowledge you posses! -NM aka Preston

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