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Keep the copper cent
May 28, 2014

Them’s fightin’ words if you are in a hobby discussion about whether the Mint should continue to strike one-cent coins for daily use.

However, I put “copper” in the title to indicate that I wonder how many individuals are saving the pre-1983 cents that were made of a 95-percent copper, 5 percent zinc alloy?

With a current melt value of 2 cents apiece, it seems like a no-brainer to keep any copper cent that comes your way.

But is it?


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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News, Bank Note Reporter and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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