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First Copper Alloy 1983-D Cent Found
By Ken Potter, Numismatic News
January 10, 2013

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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Jeff Young of Ohio appears to be the latest collector to find a heretofore unknown Transitional Error on a Lincoln cent worth $15,000. After years of searching, he is the first to report to Numismatic News an example of a 1983-D cent struck on a pre-1982 (or early 1982) homogeneous 95-percent copper alloy planchet, or what most folks just call a “copper planchet.”

He found it after reading all three editions of a book I co-wrote with Dr. Brian Allen, Strike It Rich With Pocket Change, where we have a listing for what was the only known example of a Philadelphia minted 1983 cent struck on a solid copper alloy planchet. There are now at least two confirmed examples of the latter coin with the second known discovered in 2010 as a direct result of the owner buying our book.

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Young said that he paid close attention to our statement near the bottom of the description of the 1983 copper cent, which we added into the second and third editions, where it states, “Of course it goes without saying that this error could have also occurred in the Denver Mint so all 1983-D cents should also be checked.”

Young said that with the support of his wife, Barbara, (who not only puts up with his hobby of searching boxes of circulation change but also counts the coins and wraps them after his searches), that he has been busy cherry-picking circulation change ever since his stepmother found a 1995 doubled-die cent in change in the year of issue (which he parlayed into 47 specimens when he went back to the location where she found it and he was able to buy 50 BU rolls to search).

It was then he realized there is an abundance of errors and varieties in Lincoln series worth searching for. He said that in 2006, the first edition of Strike it Rich With Pocket Change was published and that reference and later editions have been an invaluable help.

He said, “That book prompted me to buy a small scale and I began weighing all 1982-D and 1983 P and D cents.” (No 1982-D Small Date cents in the solid copper alloy are known and is assuredly what Young is looking for there.)

The cents struck from 1963 through about mid 1982 are of a solid brass composition made up of 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc. They weigh 3.1 grams. The cents struck from about mid 1982 to the present are struck on planchets made up of a solid zinc core (with a trace of copper) that are barrel plated with pure copper and weigh 2.5 grams. The only exceptions are five commemorative Lincoln cent designs struck in 2009 in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. The 209 circulation strikes (Denver and Philadelphia) were struck on copper plated zinc planchets while the Denver and Philadelphia satin finish uncirculated mint set coins and San Francisco proof set collector versions were stuck on traditional solid copper alloy planchets for commemorative purposes (opening up the door for even more errors yet to be found).

The finder of the second example of the 1983 Philadelphia copper cent submitted it to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) of Newport, Calif, for authentication and encapsulation. They noted on the holder that it was “1983 1c Mint Error/Stk on Pre 1983 CU Plan/Transitional Wrong Plan.” I expect Young’s coin will be designated in the similar manner.

In our book, Allen and I estimated that these could be worth $15,000 or more but that is of course just a guess. Only one coming up for auction will give us some idea of true value.

It should be noted that Young has provided a very convincing story and even more convincing photographs of which we have little doubt as to their accuracy. However, to be sure, Young is going to drive the coin up to me for examination. I will follow up on my findings shortly thereafter.

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On May 26, 2015 Charles Cook said
I was reading your article and just so happens I found a 1982 D coin. That I believe is the 1982 D copper small date. The weight is that of copper and the coins is in great shape. Excellent color and I truly think this is it. If your interested my number is 352-340-7787. Thanks. I also have a few 1984 Double Ear coins, 1969-s Double Die, a 1943 D steel cent with Double die, a 2000-P Sacagawea and a 2003-D Sacagawea both with RPM. Also a 1776-1976-D Half Dollar RPM.
On September 11, 2015 darryl tinkle said
If anyone is interested I do have a 1969 s doubled die coin in great condition and many other coins for sale. Mynumber is 2092062652 and I live in northern California, call me for pics of all my coins. I will sell my69s dd penny for a very reasonable price. We can meet in person before you buy to verify it's the real deal. I found coin about a month ago and have not told anyone about it yet. So call me at anytime if your interested in negotiating a price or a trade. Thanks for your time Darryl Tinkle.
On December 28, 2015 Jesus delvall said
I have a 1983 D penny it looks like a nickle bro idk tbh but its a penny my phone is 7608444692 i found it today in the desert on the the ground
On January 11, 2016 rick said
I have a penny with marks from the ear to the neck and between the ear and the eye and one in front of the eye. I can send pictures , my email is
On January 12, 2016 Misti cheeks said
I have a 1983 looks like a P but may be a"D" penny. Its reddish/orange. Its a copper penny- can u tell me the value please?
Also, I have a 1987D penny thats silver can u tell me about this one also?
Thanks, Misti Cheeks
On January 20, 2016 Melissa said
Today I found a 1983 D dime looks copper,has small date. Anyone could help me with value?
On January 20, 2016 Melissa said
The coin weighs 2.5. Any help would be
On January 22, 2016 Elizabeth said
I have an 83d coin but rough shape .  It most certainly looks copper and almost rusty... is this close??
On March 22, 2016 travis said
I have a 1983 COPPER ALLOY(not zinc) penny, anyone interested in purchasing it? ask for Travis 951-446-7562
On April 16, 2016 miguel garcia said
I have an 1983D Penny COPPER ALLOY ( no zinc)anyone interested in purchasing it ask for miguel 718 654 2679
On June 1, 2016 said
Try selling at the auction.Seems to be a good place to start.l suggest Heritage auction or stacks.
On June 24, 2016 Skyler said
I have 1983 with several different marks I also have a 1970 s proof quarter but can't tell if 1941 is on it.I have a 1949 two tone wheatie which looks like the shape of an walnut are they worth anything.
On July 16, 2016 Nicolas norris said
I have a 1983 small date and a small D mint mark weight of penny is 2.5 grams if anyone wants to buy the real deal call me at 318 215 8111 leave a message I'll get back in touch or email me at
On September 17, 2016 Byron Gardner said
I don't have any pennies. If you're interested in my not having any pennies email me at
On October 8, 2016 Pennyseeker said
I have a 1983 D that weighs 2.7 grams.  What is the range for copper planchet? I know it's 3.1 grams, but what's the range that it could be copper or the new zinc? I have weighed  the others I have and they weigh around 2.5 grams.  Any ideas?  Thank you.
On October 22, 2016 Karen Pittman said
I have a 1983 D double die penny in very good shape and alot of others too
On December 18, 2016 christopher escalera said
I have a 1983penny it weighs 2.6 grams is it rare
On December 24, 2016 michael sperry said
I have a1983 D cooper penny with silver on the head could you please give me a idea how much it's worth??      Thankyou Michael Sperry
On January 8, 2017 Jose presiado j said
Tengo una del ano 1982 qe al reberso se be qe tiene un cuadro en el castiyo I una del ano 1971s qe nosesi selearia un dano ala letra b de liberty qe parese qe tiene una R en sima dela b si pudieran ayudarme grasias
On January 23, 2017 bw39377 said
I had a1983 penny with out a mint sign,also I had a 1983 d penny,both has are copper transision ,and error,I can send you a picture,when you will to buy,call 314-782-9234
On January 29, 2017 TERRY BALL said
im some change i found in it a 1983Dpenny brownish&pinckish color&wide am what is it worth& how much should i ask for if i sell thanks TB
On February 11, 2017 steve said
I have a 1963 d/d Franklin half dollar. Can't find any listings on this coin. Any info or purchasers would be greatly appreciated. My phone number...509)634-4965. In Washington state.
On March 10, 2017 Jason waxman said
I found I have in my possession a 1982 small date D copper Lincoln center and also a small date 1982 must be p because no ment letter and also a 1982 small date zinc I found them all at the same time got the as cash back Walmart pretty good condition my question is now what do I really send my coin into like a grading office do I already take picture of me with id holding it or what please hit me up on my Gmail need help really like to sell good price really rare p and d copper
On March 10, 2017 Jason waxman said
Wow wait there might be I think there is maybe a 8 under the 8 on the p copper looks like behind it down just a little bit

On April 20, 2017 Bill said
I have a 1983 penny, it appears to be pure copper. I don't see any other alloy around it. I brushed it with my fingers and it still looks like pure copper. I don't have a scale so I don't know the weight. Is this worth something substantial?
On April 20, 2017 Bill said
I just found two more 1983 pennies, one has a reddish copper color, and another with some other alloy mixed in. Also a 1982 pure copper. All in good condition.
On May 13, 2017 Norm Slater said
I have had a bunch of pennies for many years, I would just throw them into my jug and when I saw this I thought what the heck and also picked up a scale and went through all of my 1983s and have found two 1,83 D and the Other 83 Pennsylvania, both 3s but do not
On May 16, 2017 yolanda said
I have a 1983 penny wt 3.1 grams .and 1992D close AM make me an offer   my e-mail
On June 23, 2017 Cody said
I have a 1983 d penny weighs 2.6grams in perfect shape still shiny  no scratches need to get rid of it 3186258931
On September 3, 2017 said
I have a 1983 D penny..does that worth anything..or wanna buy..please call 15303157122
On October 2, 2017 Guy McManamay said
friend of mine has and trying to find value or offer for 1983 no mint mark
penny weighing 2.9 grams certified by gnc with 58 rating and thermo scientifically analized to be 94.78%
On January 13, 2018 William said
I just found 3 1983 d Penny's and a 1983 copper penny that's in good shape. I'm not sure if the 1983 d's I found are copper or not. But the 1983 is more of a brownish color and the 3 D's have shinier look to them. I do believe I got a 1983 copper penny.
On January 30, 2018 reise david comstock said
I found 5 of these pennies!!!!!!!!!!!
On February 15, 2018 Hector mares said
I found 3
On February 16, 2018 said
On February 17, 2018 Clayton davis said
My 1983 d

On March 26, 2018 Phillip brown said
I have a 1959 D penny that weighs 2.9 grams about as round as a dime but way thicker I think it's on a foreign planchet
On May 18, 2018 Bobby causey said
I have a 1983 d penny where the top of the 8 is filled in ,,,any info on it

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