I recently started investigating bringing my coin collections up to date. The last time I looked SERIOUSLY at them was in the Late 1970's. Not too bad considering the fact that I have spent the last 20 some odd years learning among other things data systems from the ground up. For the last 10 years I had gotten into the habit of dumping the change from my pocket into a five-gallon water jug. This was not a real problem except the fact that I work days and nights with the only food supply at night being vending machines, which require coins or one dollar bills. Therefore I have a plentiful supply of coins.
I carried the jug into my living room and set about sorting out Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, and Quarters. By the end, I had in excess of $700.00 in Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, and Quarters. I then sorted out the coins by year and mint mark Then rolled any I have with at least a roll's worth of coins. I was placing a coin from each year and mint mark in my collection books, and found that in 1982 there were 7 different varieties of pennies , some were copper and some where zinc.
Now, the question is, how do you tell the difference between Zinc and Copper Pennies ? I remembered hearing something about there is a small weight difference. I looked up the information on the Internet and found there to be about a 19% variance in weight. Who do you go to, to find that delicate a set of scales?
I found that information also on the Internet, at Precision Weighing Balances, at the Internet address of www.balances.com. I called and they where able to point me into the right direction. I purchased through them the Deering 10-Gram Scale. I then set about weighing 663 pennies to determine which were Copper and which were Zinc. I determined, through trial and error, that the zinc pennies ran from 2.42 grams to 2.52 grams , and that the copper pennies ran from 2.92 grams to 3.13 grams . Then I sorted the varieties of pennies by date size, giving me the following breakdown of 1982 pennies:
|565||1982 D||Copper||Large Date|
|31||1982 D||Zinc||Large Date|
|2||1982 D||Zinc||Small Date|
|24||1982 Plain||Copper||Large Date|
|20||1982 Plain||Copper||Small Date|
|20||1982 Plain||Zinc||Large Date|
|1||1982 Plain||Zinc||Small Date|
I have not been able to find an estimate on how many of each type of coin was minted. The only amounts I have been able to find indicate that the total minted for each coin type are 1982 D - 6,012,979,368 and 1982 Plain - 10,712,525,000. I suspect the reason that I have so many of the D variety of coin, is that here in Dallas, Texas, the Denver Mint supplies most of our coins.
I would like to thank Sean McDaniel of Texas for submitting this article. If you have additional information to add to this article or would like to submit your own e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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