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Video:Differences Between a Copper and Zinc Penny

with Jesse Blanchard

A penny may either be made of copper or zinc and there are several ways to determine the penny's material. Watch this video so you can accurately identify a copper and zinc penny.See Transcript

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Transcript:Differences Between a Copper and Zinc Penny

Hi, my name is Jesse Blanchard and I am going to show you the difference between a copper and a zinc penny.

A copper penny is made of 95% copper whereas a zinc penny is made of 97.50% zinc. Currently, a copper penny is worth 3 cents in copper bullion. There are three ways to tell the difference and I am going to go over all three.

Weigh the Penny

The most accurate way to test is to weigh them. A copper penny ways 3.11 grams and a zinc penny weighs 2.5 grams. However, if you're like me and you don't have a scale that accurate their are two other ways to tell.

Check the Date on the Penny

The first is the date. The mint changed from copper to zinc in 1982. So, all penny's made before then are copper and all after are zinc. But what do you do for those made in 1982?

Perform the Penny Drop Test

There's one other test, it's called "the drop test."You'll need two penny's a know copper penny and a known zinc penny. Just check the dates to make sure. There is a subtle difference in sound between the two. Here's the copper penny. And here's the zinc penny.

You'll have to drop them several times before you can tell the difference but eventually your ear will hear it.

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