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Zinc And Copper Penny Differences

There are several things to look at when determining if your penny is made of zinc or copper.

  • Drop Test: If you happen to already have a penny, which you know is made from copper or zinc, and then you will be able to differentiate the sound. Each metal will be distinctive when dropped on a hard surface.  Copper has a higher pitch. Compare that sound to the pennies, to determine their metal composition. If you collect pennies, it’s not recommended to do the drop test, since you can damage the coins and diminish their value.


  • Date: If your penny has a date bettween1959 and 1981 it will be copper. There are some valuable and rare pennies such as those produce from steel, issued during the war in1943. Also, error copper pennies were minted in 1983.  For pennies minted in 1982, the best way to tell the  difference is weight.


  • Weight: A zinc penny will weigh 2.5 grams, while a copper penny weighs 3.11 grams.


If you are a coin collector, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your pennies. The right information, will help you better ascertain the value of your coin collection.

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7204 W 27th St., Suite 107,
St. Louis Park,
Minneapolis, MN, 55426
Phone: (952) 920-6101
Fax: (952) 929-8036


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