Friday, January 09, 2009

Where have all the copper pennies gone?

A confession: I hoard pennies. I don't just hoard them, I separate them into copper and zinc. The copper pennies minted prior to 1982 go into this jar. The zinc pennies minted since 1982 go into that jar. Every day when I get home, I empty my pockets, and then over the weekends, I pick out the pennies, and stick them into the appropriate jar.

Why? I don't know. I guess I'm kind of that Robert guy in the popular "Everybody loves Raymond" TV show.

Ok, so here's the interesting part (sorry, this is as interesting as it gets)...

When I started this obsession about 4 years ago, I was adding more copper pennies than zinc pennies. I would even occassionally find a wheat penny.

But starting around 2007, I noticed that I was adding mostly zinc pennies.

I postulate that somebody or bodies have been sucking out all the copper pennies while copper prices were high. Afterall, it was just last year when copper prices were so high, pennies were worth more as copper bullion than they were as currency.

So there you have it.... my expose about the run on copper coinage. Don't believe me? Just reach into your pocket right now and pull out all the pennies. I'll bet that the zinc pennies will out number the copper pennies by about 10 to 1. It wasn't this way 18-24 months ago.

Trust me, I know. I'm obsessed.

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