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Historically, coins have been created from metals reflecting their value. Just as gold coins reflect a higher face value, pennies, or one cent coins, reflect their metal value. However, in 1982, the United States Treasury anticipated an increase in the price of copper, which opened the door for a new coin composition.


The once solid copper coin is now comprised of a solid zinc base and coated in a copper alloy. Upon changing the composite from solid copper to the zinc and copper alloy, so too did the weight of the coins themselves. Prior to 1982, a penny made entirely of copper was significantly heavier than the zinc and copper alloy counterparts. Imagine carrying a pocket full of copper pennies amongst other gold and silver coins all day while strolling through town. Most appreciate today’s standards if only for the convenience of weight.


Which leads us to the question, “Why do we continue to use the penny?”


Many Americans argue the fact that the penny costs more to produce than the face value of the coin itself. About $0.017 per coin to produce to be exact, along with the idea of the production of these coins affecting the environment.


But no one can diminish the fact that Americans love to collect coins. Coins represent a part of our culture, history, and just reflect the eras in which they were struck. Whether they were produced purely of copper or are a modern-day copper alloy coated zinc base, we love one cent coins and desire them if not for their presence in our coin collections.


To learn more about rare coins, copper pennies and Wheat pennies, amongst other collectible one cent coins, please visit any of our four Bellevue Rare Coins locations in the Greater Seattle Area.



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Since 1979, Bellevue Rare Coins has been a trusted, family-owned business serving the Greater Seattle Area with locations in Bellevue, Lynnwood, Issaquah, and West Seattle. Specializing in gold, silver, diamond, and jewelry purchasing, in addition to dealing in rare coins. We now offer a vast selection of fine, vintage and custom designed jewelry. Visit anyone of our four friendly locations for the best deals selling or buying.


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