List of US Cents my 2013 Red Book states .050 Sn-Zn, but no individual percent's for these elements.

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by ToddB67, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. ToddB67

    ToddB67 Junior Member

    Hi Everybody!

    Subject: List of US Cents my 2013 Red Book states .050 Sn-Zn, but no individual percent's for these elements.


    Should we assume .050 % for each element in the alloy, or .050 % total combined and if so, what are the individual percent's and is there a source on the Internet or a published book, etc. that definitely states the individual percent's for Sn and Zn in the Cents listed below?

    Indian Head no.3 1864 - 1909 .950 Cu, .050 Sn-Zn

    Lincoln Wheat Ears no.1 1909 - 1942 .950 Cu, .050 Sn-Zn

    Lincoln Wheat Ears no.1 1947 - 1958 .950 Cu, .050 Sn-Zn
    (Bronze) Resumed.

    Lincoln Memorial pre-'82 1959 - 1962 .950 Cu, .050 Sn-Zn

    Lincoln Bicentennial, 2009 .950 Cu, .050 Sn-Zn
    Special versions for
    collector sets.

    Thanks in advance for your help! :)

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  3. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Derp, derp, derp!

    I'm gonna guess that quality control wasn't good enough to keep the amount of Sn and the amount of Zn at a given percent (say 2.5% each for a total of 5%), so they just lumped them together at 5%.

    edit: thinking about it a bit more, I am guessing they really had no idea how much tin they had, or couldn't really control it, or it varied from source to source, AND they didn't care (even if it was 0% tin).
    mikenoodle likes this.
  4. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Wasn't I reading a thread here a few years ago that talked about putting just a crumb of tin into the mix to comply with the law?
  5. lovecoinswalkingliberty

    lovecoinswalkingliberty Well-Known Member


    Question 1 and 2) 95% copper
    2.5% tin
    2.5% zinc

    Question 3) There are probably many books that tell you that and many websites, here is one
    Here is an except from the sight in its composition section

    "Bronze, 1909–1942. Initially the alloy of the Lincoln cent followed that established for this denomination with the Indian Head design in 1864, 95% copper and 2.5% tin and 2.5% zinc."

    Here is an another site:

    Plus, in Mid-1962-Mid-1982, the tin was taken out of the penny and it was 5% zinc- Brass, not bronze, just like 1944-1946

    So, yes there are references that say definitely.

    And one more thing:
    1864-1868 are not Indian Head cents, but rather Flying Eagle cents

    Hope this helps,
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  6. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Wikipedia is not a "reference". I could edit that article right now to say that cents starting in 2018 include 5% vibranium in the core alloy; so could you.

    The article should include a citation of an actual source for this information. It doesn't. Since it doesn't, I have no reason to believe it. All it indicates is that someone thought so, or wanted others to think so.

    Today more than ever, you've got to learn to think critically about what you read.
    Rich Buck and CoinCorgi like this.
  7. ToddB67

    ToddB67 Junior Member

    Thanks a lot Tyler; that gives me a whole bunch to chew on and digest! ;)

  8. lovecoinswalkingliberty

    lovecoinswalkingliberty Well-Known Member

  9. ToddB67

    ToddB67 Junior Member

    Thanks for that -jeffB ! Yes, I knew that Wikipedia information is subject to critique, even the source in the citation. I guess all information sources could be "reverse engineered" with the possibility of finding something incorrect! ;)

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  10. BooksB4Coins

    BooksB4Coins Newbieus Sempiterna

    This not only warms my heart to hear, but bears repeating.... very, very often.

    Thumbs up!
  11. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Derp, derp, derp!

    Lead a horse to water and they piss in it.
  12. BooksB4Coins

    BooksB4Coins Newbieus Sempiterna

    You sure about that?

    Sometimes when we try to be helpful, especially when we're not quite at the level we may want others to believe, we end up accomplishing the opposite of what we intended. Just food for thought...
    Rich Buck and Kentucky like this.
  13. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    FE cents 1856-1858
  14. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    I am somewhat conflicted with Wikipedia. I use it sometimes and rarely question it. I would never use it for a scholarly article I was writing, and would be cautious if the subject were political or controversial, but other than that, I think it is fairly correct. I could be wrong though.
  15. lovecoinswalkingliberty

    lovecoinswalkingliberty Well-Known Member

  16. sakata

    sakata Devil's Advocate

  17. ToddB67

    ToddB67 Junior Member

    Thanks sakata! After reading about all of those different metals and alloys(metal recipe's ;)), I added the URL to my Favorites List. So far, the most complete and well written tutorial about the properties and uses of copper, brass and bronze I have ever seen!

  18. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    The coinage act of April 22, 1864's specified the composition of the bronze one cent piece to be 95% copper 5% tin and zinc. It did not specify any specific ratio of the two metals tin and zinc, so the mint was free to use any combination of the two that added up to 5% of the total alloy. This is why in 1942 with tin being in very short supply due to its use in the war effort the amount of tin in the 1942 cents was reduced to a mere trace. The entire mintage of 1942 S cents used only 50 pounds of tin. From 1946 to 1963 the percentage of tin in the cents varied.
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