A coins weight

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by skorpio13, Dec 17, 2020.


How much can the weight of a coin be off from mint specs

  1. answer

    6 vote(s)
  2. answer

    6 vote(s)
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  1. skorpio13

    skorpio13 New Member

    I have weighed each coin in my collection. I know that weight is important for
    all the reasons. My problem, my scale, I think (its not a bmw but not a junk yard dog either) rarely weighs exact to the mints specifications. Example 1> I just re-weighed a
    1943s "STEEL" Penny- mint weight supposed to be 2.70g, mine weighs 2.84g. Most of my coins are only off by a couple of digits ex2> 2.50/2.53 or 2.70/2.68. I regularly calibrate my scale in fact before any and every weigh in. It weighscorrect with a weight.
    My question is this.. How close to exact mint specs. does a coin need to be? Please do not factor in wrong planchets, I already have. More like if a coin left the mint in hypothetically mint perfect condition would or could the weight be of by 1-2 tenths. ex3>2.50/2.52? or if its in "mint" condition would it weigh exactly 2.50g.
    Question2> Do i need a new scale?
    Thank you in advance for any help. And thank you also to the 2 people who wished me Happy Bday a couple weeks ago I was surprised to see the well wishes. Dont worry folks if you missed my bday this year I will be having another next year. Thanks Again.

    capthank and SensibleSal66 like this.
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  3. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 Casual Collector / error expert "in Training "

    Welcome @skorpio13 ! Happy belated B-Day ! I own a small Brifit scale and have weighing problems too but I think there are variables involved . The wear of a Coin for one. I'll wait for other to chime in for more .
  4. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

    Your steel Cent could of been reprocessed.
    They replated many as a novelty. That's why it is probably overweight.. pictures are needed to be shown to determine that.
    serafino, capthank and Evan Saltis like this.
  5. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

    I'm assuming you are using a jewelers gram scale.
    Correct? o_O
  6. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

    That has nothing to do with the weight but just the overall condition meaning appearance of the coin. Coins have a mint tolerance of +\- in weight varience. I will try to find out.
    SensibleSal66 likes this.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    How much can the weight of a coin be off from mint specs ?

    Tolerance for coins.jpg
    DEA, shaney777, Kentucky and 5 others like this.
  8. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    That's page 2 in the table in the Coin World Almanac. (Come on people buy the book. It is amazing the amount of information in there. Can I get a second on that Doug?)
  9. Razz

    Razz Critical Thinker

    Those finger tips look familiar! :)
  10. coin dog

    coin dog Active Member

    Do you calibrate the scale regularly?
  11. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    And a 3rd, and a 4th ;)

    Wonder why :rolleyes: :D
    Kentucky likes this.
  12. Captain Sully

    Captain Sully Member

    Mine are usually hundreds of grams off or some up to 1 gm. Found this on the Mint site
    The United States Mint currently manufactures one-cent coins that consist of a core of 99.2 percent zinc and 0.8 percent copper plated with less than 0.003 inches of pure copper. It is 19.05 millimeters in diameter and weighs 2.5 grams with a tolerance of ± 0.1 grams.

  13. Idoono

    Idoono New Member

    If you have a buddy with a scale weigh his calibration weights and see if they read ok. Of you don't have a buddy then I suggest getting a set of cal weights from a reloading supply house. Normally around $20 or so.
  14. Mike Thornton

    Mike Thornton Well-Known Member

  15. Mike Thornton

    Mike Thornton Well-Known Member

    I think meant to say "hundredths" instead of "tenths". If your coin is off weight by tenths, it should be heavily circulated and worn, or I would consider it a big red flag. Another thing to consider is that when you start getting down to hundredths of a gram, the scales are very sensitive and air movement (like a celling fan) can cause fluctuations in the weight. At thousandths of a gram, breathing on the scale can effect the weight. Finally Happy Bday.
  16. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Coin World Almanac, thank you DGJMSP.
  17. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    from what I know with scales performance, there's a difference between "precision" and "accuracy". I'm not a scale scientist, but apparently scales by design are generally accurate, but not precise. my warehouse scale for instance, 1 pound = 16 oz. However when a weight something that's 315 pounds, I might get 5001 oz or 5049 oz, but it will still read 315 pounds and so would other peoples freight scales.

    It's why the scrap yards have to have their scales constantly checked and certified, because simply switching out scales for something more in their favor will benefit them, and cause problems with people looking to scrap metals when the weights are way off. Their scales must be precise and they buy scales designed to be precise and verify it regularly.

    the question really is, can you weigh the same item over and over again and get the same exact measurement every time or does it bounce around a little. if it bounces around a little, it's accurate, but it's not precise.

    there's other factors, like dust or dirt weight, air pressure weight, uneven surfaces causing weight shift. even calibrating in an area, then using it in a different area, it's not going to be precise after the calibration because it was calibrated to the specific conditions it was in when calibrated after moving it it will be off because conditions changed.
  18. Razz

    Razz Critical Thinker

    I got my copy from a local used book store. Signed and dated by Beth. Sooo much good info.:) 20201218_120125.jpg
  19. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    Correct, but you have the terms reversed. Precision refers to the number of digits a scale can give you consistently. If I have a scale that can give me a weight of 1.425887 grams, and it gives the same measurement every time, it's precise to the microgram. It may only have an accuracy of +/- 0.01 grams, however, which makes all the precision past the second decimal place meaningless. You might also have a scale that gives you random numbers after 2 decimal places, but those first two are always correct. In this case, you have a scale that is not precise enough for its accuracy. Often, however, the term accuracy is used to refer to being both accurate and precise.
    John Burgess likes this.
  20. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    Yes. I knew it was something like that didn't have reference materials at hand to verify which was which. Thanks.
  21. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    The thing you gotta remember when it comes to the weight of a coin is that there are very, very few coins that will actually weight the specified weight. The spec weight, that's really nothing more than a reference point. It is a specified number where the final weight of each coin has to within a tolerance range of that number.

    For as long as they have minted coins there have always been tolerance ranges for each and every coin. That was true 2,000 years ago and it's true today. The thing that most people don't realize is that even hundreds of years ago the tolerance ranges were much smaller, tighter, more strict, than they are today. If you look at that chart above you can see how the tolerance ranges increased over the years. And a couple hundred years before the earliest in that chart the tolerance ranges were even smaller.

    Also, a lot of folks seem to think that hundreds of years ago, even a thousand years ago, they didn't have the technology to get weight and fineness to such tight specifications. But nothing could be further from the truth ! They were most definitely able to do that ! They were able to get fineness and weight to within 4 decimal places. And today, tests, using modern technology, have proven that they did it all the time, and very consistently !

    Just a few years ago Teyler's Museum in The Netherlands conducted tests on their collection of Netherlands gold ducats hundreds of years old, measuring hundreds of coins for weight and fineness. The results, every coin was within tolerances for weight and fineness - every coin.
    DEA and serafino like this.
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