With so many people hoarding the 95% copper cents now a days, when do you all think it will be when we no longer see pre '83 Lincolns in circulation?
Also I was born almost a quarter century after 90% silver coinage stopped being produced, so I don't know how that whole hoarding phase played out. But for those of you who were alive for that, has the copper penny hoarding followed that sort of the same way? Or has it only been recently that people have been hoarding the copper pennies?
All I know is that i'm a confessed penny hoarder. I really only have 30 lbs of them but still growing
I separate copper pennies I get in change and have done so for a couple of years.
Don't go searching rolls for them though.
At any rate, I was around when clad coinage came in and the removal of silver coinage from circulation started almost immediately.
By 1970 it was an extremely rare occurrence to find silver in circulation - 40% Kennedy halves excluded - but even the 40% halves began disappearing by the mid-70s.
I did lots of math............there was approximately 141 billion copper memorial pennies minted, which would leave approximately 130 billion remaining
If there are 1 million penny hoarders in the US, and each of them had a hoard of 50,000 pennies (which is unrealistically high), then there would be 50 billion taken out of circulation.
That leaves 80 billion remaining. If all of them kept adding 5,000 coins a year, then there would be 5 million taken out each year
Let's say it is easy to find copper when there is 10 billion copper pennies in circulation (there are zinc pennies). So, 80 - 10 = 70 billion taken out
I decided to stop here
70/5 = 14. 14 years is the worst amount of time these can stay alive. I used really high numbers (1 million people, 50,000 pennies) to try not to underestimate the real amount. It could be 20 years, 25 years, who knows
Last edited by jcakcoin; 12-20-2011 at 11:28 PM. Reason: forgot to finish sentence......oops
I'm a skeptic. The difference with silver is that silver is something that is commonly recognized as being valuable. The copper penny hoarding is a niche hobby, and I don't think it's going to ever pay off, so people won't have any incentive to keep doing it.
Fine, but probably pretty inaccurate. The ban on melting them was only in place from 1974-78 because of melting them due to high copper prices and added again in 2006. In 1973 copper spiked and cents were actually in short supply. Banks in my area issued a candy in lieu of a cent when making change for awhile. Now I cannot say if the shortage was caused by hoarding or melting. But the ban on melting was placed in 74.
So, if there was a large melt, the numbers could be way off. Today, with fuel costs as high as they are, and the deflated dollar value, melting is not as lucrative as it may have been in 1973. I know the copper prices have changed a lot, but $18,000 in profit in 1973 would buy a really nice new home. It may have been very lucrative to melt the cents in 72-73. I was too busy with other things to follow it closely.
I've got about $50 worth of cents, I don't go out of my way to get boxes of the stuff. But I do recognize them in change and seperate them automatically. A hardcore hoarder would entail having one of those $500 ryedale sorting machines, and I just don't see the justification in purchasing one if I don't go through a $1000 a week in cents.
I buy penny boxes ($25 50 rolls per box) and have been saving the 81 and prior/82 with scale verified weight and I'd say roughly 30% of every box I get is still copper pennies at this point. I'd like to think they will be around for awhile longer. However, with the big commercial operations getting started into this now with big expensive automatic sorting machines this doesn't bode well for them lasting a long time. And if any of the bills in the house/senate pass that have provisions to change the make up of the penny/nickel to steel I would expect them to go even faster.
Riddle me this BatMan...
If they lift the ban on melting them won't the supply rise overnight by LOTS?
What will that do to the price of Copper?
Collecting District Set $1-$20 Series 1928-present + Stars
At the coin show at the Imperial Palace last weekend, I picked up some hole fillers for another Wheat set. That junk in the bargain boxes sold for 25c & 50c apiece. Junk silver coins are going for 24x. So those older wheats were selling for more than silver. Now, that isn't in bulk for the copper, but remove some forever and I think prices will rise. Maybe not a lot, but news reports show there is heavy investment in hoarding copper. Propbably depends a lot on how Chinese manufacturing bounces back and just how much copper is needed for industry.
However it would go, I still pull every one I find. Boxes make good door stops.
My guess is that copper cents will disappear from circulation faster than people believe. But balancing this, I also believe that the hoarded copper cents will not appreciate the way silver did because industrial demand will be filled mostly by mining and collector demand will concentrate on higher grade coins, not circulated coins. So it might be a nice feeling to have 50,000 copper cents in the basement, but don't expect to make much money because the weight to value ratio is too high and likely to remain so.
One thing I don't understand though is why people say it's a waste of time to put away some copper pennies while they are still around. It's not like it costs a lot, and I personally don't think it takes up much space at all. Why wouldn't you put away even just $50 in pennies when they have the potential to be worth maybe $250 down the road? Even if the price of copper doesn't gradually increase, you haven't lost anything...pennies will still be worth 1c.
I used to do this, but I got tired of roll searching.
I kept what I had already accumulated
some points of advice.
save only 1981 and earlier unless you can tell 1982 and earlier apart (waiting to get a good enough scale)
separate wheats from memorials
also set aside old-enough Canadian cents (1996 and earlier)
put coins in 50c rolls (or Ziploc bags if less than 50 in a category).
label rolls appropriate and put them in a further storage container.
easy enough to cash in if need be.
while searching for copper, could also search for date/mintmark set wants or other goodies in the denomination
Currency collection is mainly modern US, both coins and bills.