Why do people sell copper pennies for so much?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Coin Obsessed, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Coin Obsessed

    Coin Obsessed Active Member

    Why do people re-sell copper pennies for so much even though it is illegal to melt them down for their copper?
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  3. scotts1

    scotts1 Well-Known Member

    I think the hope is that someday the US will demonetize the penny, making it legal to melt them down.
    Mike185 likes this.
  4. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    They are all unsearched! Lol
    Mike185 likes this.
  5. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    Because is free enterprise at it's best.
  6. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    They sell them for so much because other people will pay that much money. Now, if you want to know why people _buy_ them when it's illegal to melt them down... I guess they're hoping the law will be changed one day and they can make a big profit. (Though copper Lincolns are only 95% copper, much less than the nearly pure metal used in industry, so any profit is likely to be eaten up by the cost of refining to the proper purity.)
    LA_Geezer likes this.
  7. ewomack

    ewomack Senior Member Supporter

    I'm amazed at the amount of people who never see a connection between "market news," including YouTube videos, and sales. News feeds sales and vice versa, that is why some people argue that watching the news actually makes a person less informed. News and advertising have almost completely merged.
    goossen and LA_Geezer like this.
  8. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    Right you are. There is a reason that TV became known as the boob tube decades ago.
  9. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Exactly. The question isn't why do people sell them for that much, but why can they sell them for that much.

    I'm guessing most buyers don't really understand how spot copper prices relate to coins that (a) aren't pure copper and (b) aren't legal to melt, or don't mind sitting on many pounds of coins for a long time to make a few dollars.
  10. JD Bartlett

    JD Bartlett New Member

    Saving copper cents with the idea of melting them down doesn't make a whole lot of sense, when you can get copper pipes at Home Depot, swap meets, yard sales for less.
    green18 likes this.
  11. goossen

    goossen Senior Member

    People believe and repeat everything they see on the Internet.

    As anecdote, some years ago when I was living in Paraguay people use to steal landline telephone wire to sell as copper. One day you wake up and your line was dead. It was a real problem. Wire is 99.9% copper though.
    ewomack and Mike185 like this.
  12. Mike185

    Mike185 Well-Known Member

    Now that’s dumb!!! I wired a lot houses and commercial building and so many break in and it makes you feel sick to your stomach to walk in on a job hoping to complete it and get inspections to find out someone cut out all of your hard work for maybe a $100.

    Edit: copper cents... I hoard them also. Not going to lie...
    Collecting Nut likes this.
  13. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    It's not illegal to melt US cents if you can classify your product as "art". Copies of classic Oriental Gongs and wall hangings' etc. sell for many times the cost in cents. Foundry and proper mold, and sell on Etsy :)
  14. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else

    Also, people could be gambling the cost of a few rolls hoping for that minor variety or NAV MD so they can prey on the uninformed and try to sell it on ETsy, Ebay etc.
  15. MK Ultra

    MK Ultra Active Member

    Like the Traveling Wilbury's sang, "In Jersey everything is legal as long as you don't get caught".
  16. manny9655

    manny9655 Active Member

    You're better off scrapping the copper in old circuit boards, which is usually pure copper...which brings up something else...some try to recycle the gold that is used in electronics, such as in connectors, solder pads, plated through-holes, etc. But what most people don't know is that the gold is alloyed with nickel to facilitate soldering, and is not pure gold, and besides that, the plating isn't very thick...not worth the trouble IMHO...just my two cents worth (which is why I have a 2-cent coin as my avatar!!!)
  17. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Most of the gold-extraction "tutorials" I've seen digest everything, and then separate out the gold. Not something I'm tempted to try myself. I have experience with the acids involved, and want no parts of them in large quantities, never mind trying to dispose of the waste.
    manny9655 likes this.
  18. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    Because some people will pay more. Like circulated Ike Dollars.
  19. manny9655

    manny9655 Active Member

    Something else worth mentioning. You've heard of the product called Nic-A-Date that's used to get dates off of dateless Buffalo nickels? It's ferric chloride, the same acid used to etch the copper off circuit boards when they are made. The chemical dissolves the copper off the Buffalo nickel and leaves the nickel behind. The tip here is that it's cheaper to get it at an electronics supply store than in a coin shop.
  20. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    All true, except that it etches both copper and nickel away. It brings up details on "nickels" (cupronickel coins) because striking work-hardens the metal that gets forced into die recesses, and that makes it more resistant to chemical attack. (At least that's the story I've gotten from people who know more about metallurgy than I do.)

    Nic-A-Date would presumably work fine to restore dates on clad coins, too, if they ever circulated enough to lose their dates. The alloy in the outer clad layers is the same as the alloy in nickels.
    manny9655 likes this.
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