If you're one of many Americans who has a piggy bank or a place to save old coins, you could be in luck with the value of the coins rising over the years thanks to the value of commodities like copper and zinc. Many old pennies are now worth more than 1 cent. The bad news is its illegal to melt the coins.
What Happened: The price of several commodities like copper and zinc have soared in recent years with those that are used to make U.S. coins among the metals affected.
The U.S. penny has undergone several changes over the years, including what is used to make the currency and who is on the front and back of the coin.
Since 1909, President Abraham Lincoln has appeared on the front of the penny.
Prior to 1982, pennies contined 95% copper and 5% zinc. Pennies minted after 1982 now contain 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.
With the value of copper worth more than zinc, the pennies from before 1982 are more valuable.
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How Much Is A Penny Worth: It has been widely circulated that the value of a penny can be worth more than 1 cent.
Based on the increased prices of zinc and copper and a melting calculator, the report is true.
At the time of writing, copper is worth around $3.93 per pound.
Based on the price, a pre-1982 penny is currently worth $0.025261, or more than two and a half times its monetary value.
While a penny being worth 2.5 cents doesn’t sound like a huge win, it could add up quickly. A 50 cent roll of pennies is worth $1.26. Those who have jars of pennies at home could be surprised to learn that every $100 in pennies could be worth $252.61.
Before rushing out to melt your pennies, keep in mind that it is illegal to melt some currencies.
Some elements of this story were previously reported by Benzinga and it has been updated.
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