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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.deering 10 gram

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? 

Simple to useI 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 sales@balances.com.

If you have a digital camera you can send along the images to help show people images of your weighing application.  We will post your article on our web site and include any additional web links related to your article even your e-mail address if you would like so other people can get in contact with you or you can stay anonymous.

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