Penny Hoarding

Discussion in 'Bullion Investing' started by bsowa1029, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. bsowa1029

    bsowa1029 Franklin Half Addict

    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?
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  3. bsowa1029

    bsowa1029 Franklin Half Addict

    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?
  4. vdbpenny1995

    vdbpenny1995 Well-Known Member

    All I know is that i'm a confessed penny hoarder. I really only have 30 lbs of them but still growing :)
  5. TheCoinGeezer

    TheCoinGeezer Senex Bombulum

    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.
  6. jcakcoin

    jcakcoin New Member

    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
  7. Hiddendragon

    Hiddendragon World coin collector

    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.
  8. 10gary22

    10gary22 Junior Member


    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.
  9. kookoox10

    kookoox10 ANA #3168546

    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.
  10. Blissskr

    Blissskr Active Member

    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.
  11. Duke Kavanaugh

    Duke Kavanaugh The Big Coin Hunter

    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?
  12. 10gary22

    10gary22 Junior Member

    I hear you ! But even today, silver coins still are smelted. I mean, every year there's a bunch of them lost forever. Realizing that many probably are not collectible, I expect that their scarcity only increases. Since people usually start collecting what is in circulation, it might not matter so much. But every collector it seems has cents. Even those who no longer collect wheaties, collect Memorials. Maybe the 59-82 bunch will be harder to find.

    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.
  13. Cloudsweeper99

    Cloudsweeper99 Treasure Hunter

    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.
  14. Blissskr

    Blissskr Active Member

    That's why as with precious metals even though copper isn't a pm, you should be in it for the long haul not instant gratification or profits. Once the initial boom and bust occurs prices should then rise steadily as coins disappear forever from circulation. Both India and China have a lot of people and a lot of room still to grow there economies in a major way internally. When you factor in not only the manufacturing uses but the rising wealth of these nations wealthy and middle classes the next 20-30 years should be really good for precious metals and in this case copper as well. I for one would rather have than have not later and at this point it's a cheap investment. As a bonus my wife is now interested in coins from sorting pennies and finding wheaties lol and my daughters 3,5 are now becoming interested in coins too so it's a win for me even if I don't make out later.
  15. bsowa1029

    bsowa1029 Franklin Half Addict

    Thats awesome that picking copper pennies has gotten your wife and daughters into coins. I agree with you about there being an initial boom if the melting ban is ever lifted and also agree that people who hold off will be the ones that profit, if anyone does. After the copper from that initial boom is used the copper from the people who held off will now be in demand.

    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.
  16. AlanFromRoc

    AlanFromRoc New Member

    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
  17. fatima

    fatima Junior Member

    For metal value, there are better ways to invest in copper and most don't involve handling the physical metal. You are looking at tons of the metal range before it's much money. Pre-82 penny rolls are pulling down 2X-2.5X face value so there is potential there to make money, but you have to balance the time it takes to sort and re-roll the coins. Unless you have machinery, I don't think it is really worth it.
  18. AlexN2coins2004

    AlexN2coins2004 ASEsInMYClassifiedAD

    I agree you haven't lost anything and it's possible those people saying you are wasting your time/money are saying it in reference that you could for instance but that $50 into close to 2 ounces of silver or some junk silver and then when the price goes back up you sell and make a profit...or even be able to buy another stock or 3 in the stock market, ect... eventually all your cents will add up to cold hard cash that can eventually double itself and whatnot...but sitting idle in a cardboard box does little to achieve that...just my opinion though...
  19. 10gary22

    10gary22 Junior Member


    Fine, for what it says. BUT, I have lost a lot of money with gold and never lost a single cent by pulling copper ones from circulation. Silver costs $7.51 an ounce to produce according to the Nevada Mining Assoc. There is a possibility the Silver bubble could burst and leave a lot of people hanging with potential losses. Ditto for gold. But the copper coins, pulled at face will always be worth the initial investment with a greater potential of doubling.

    The attitude that PM's will continue to increase in value seems to be the same one that people had about houses. However, houses have gone down in value, at least here. We've seen Silver plunge from $40 down to $28 quite recently. Anyone who bought at say $38 and had to sell today would lose at least 25% of their investment. The same person who bought copper cents at 1c can sell them for 1c immediately, losing nothing.

    Just sayin' that it's not always profits one must consider, but also the minimization of risk. Yes, people can and do lose on PMs. Unless you are finding gold and silver coins in circulation, there is always a chance of losing money.

    gary
  20. andrew289

    andrew289 Senior Analyst

    I've made it my mission in life to melt as much junk silver as I can every year. I buy it up weekly and melt it monthly. It all must go.
  21. 10gary22

    10gary22 Junior Member


    An ambitious endeavor ! Still, there is an element of risk. Even smelted, the value can fluctuate. How much does it cost to melt the silver ? I mean for fuel, flux, etc. I guess I am asking at what price can you buy silver coins and melt them to break even ? I know that your inventory cost fluctuates and likely your overhead must also. With fuel being a commodity. But I wonder how much an ounce it takes . How do you get your material to smelt ? eBay, coin shows, flea markets, craigslist, roll searching ?

    I would really like to know how this works. Thanks

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