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hoarding modern coins

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by monkeyman, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I noticed a coin on the register the other day that someone had passed on one of the cashiers. It was a Romanian IIRC coin for 5000 denominations and it was PLASTIC.

    The Fed Res has also made it so it will be illegal to melt US coins since it is costing them more to make pennies, nickles, and I think at least nearly if not dimes than their face value.

    So I got to thinking that first off I wonder how long it will be before the US goes over to makeing their coins from plastic to save the mint money, and second, if it might be worth setting back as much as possible in the way of coins even if they are not the silver or copper ones of old. Even the modern coins are already worth about as much or more for their materials as their face value and if there isnt any kind of collapse then how much more would they be worth by material value let alone collectable value if the mint goes over to plastic coins?

    Just figured I wouldtoss it out there and see what others thought about it.
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Pre 1982 pennies are 95% copper/5% zinc. Currently worth about 3 cents for the copper content.

    You can pretty safely assume they will be worth a lot more than that in terms of the Federal Reserve Note down the road.

  3. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Interesting discussion, and good link (thanks Andy).

    It appears that to hoard pennies and nickels is good, anything else nets you a HUGE loss.
  4. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    So should we hold onto all pennies as they have some copper or just stick with pre-82? And this is good information to know. Just a thought. Wonder how many old houses out there have gold coins hidden in the attics or walls?
  5. Rancher

    Rancher Specialist

    I understand nickles are around 75% copper.
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Even the new pennies are already costingmore than a pennie to mint. I was just thinking in terms of all of them, not for the present but for a time I could see in the not so far future when them start makeing them all from plastic. Kind of like those who held on to the silver coins when they were not worth any more than face.
  7. Ardent Listener

    Ardent Listener Monkey+++

    A lot of people still don't know about penny and nickel hoarding. You are all welcome to visit us at the address below. www.coinflation.com is a good place for more information too.



    Site devoted to hoarding copper pennies & nickels for their base metal value. Some posts on survival, but we could use more.
  8. Bogie

    Bogie Monkey+++

    I have been keeping all nickles & all pennies just sort into pre/post 82 pre for the copper post for the zinc
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I collect this crazy stuff called SILVER and GOLD.

    I let that neat little machine at the liquor store [booze] change all my unwanted coins into a paper currency, which I would then deposit with my local bank, sit down at my computer and order some silver and gold, wait for the delivery truck to come, carry my precious metals down into the basement where I keep my mother chained up, and then watch some football highlights while drinking a hot cup of coffee and dreaming about the end of days whilst propping my feet on a nice, soft foot stool.

    You can collect tons of copper...
  10. Ardent Listener

    Ardent Listener Monkey+++

    Coin melting ban: Bad sign for the dollar?

    Instead of a new thread I copied and pasted this below.


    U.S. Criminalizes Coin-Melting: Bad Sign for Dollar?


    Your pennies and nickels are now worth more melted down for their metal content than their face value. This has the government worried about more than just the most obvious, publicly stated reason.

    On December 13, United States Mint officials said they were making it illegal to melt pennies and nickels and to take large amounts of the coins outside the country. Under the new law, anyone convicted of melting the coins or leaving the country with more than $5 in pennies and nickels or shipping more than $100 worth could be punished with five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

    Why the drastic steps? “We are taking this action because the nation needs its coinage for commerce,” stated Mint Director Edmund Moy. “We don’t want to see our pennies and nickels melted down so a few individuals can take advantage of the American taxpayer.”

    Because of current zinc, copper and nickel prices, pennies and nickels cost the Mint far more than the coins are worth.

    For example, as of the December 13 announcement, pennies (which are 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper) were worth approximately 1.12 cents. Similarly, nickels, which are 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel, were worth 6.99 cents—a whopping 39.8 percent above the nickel’s currency value.

    For obvious reasons, when the metal value of a coin exceeds its face value, it makes people wonder if they could make money by selling the coin as scrap metal.

    Although melting down U.S. coinage to sell the metal seems unpatriotic and opportunistic to say the least, it is a bit ironic that the Mint is worrying about people taking advantage of the taxpayer—especially since the Mint is now costing taxpayers millions by manufacturing pennies and nickels at a cost far above the value of the coins themselves.

    According to the Associated Press, when all production costs are taken into account, the U.S. Mint now spends 1.73 cents to produce each penny and 8.34 cents to produce each nickel.

    Therefore, since the Mint produced approximately 7.86 billion pennies and 1.42 billion nickels between January and November, the U.S. Mint itself, by making pennies and nickels that were worth less than their face value, actually cost taxpayers roughly $105 million just in the last 11 months.

    Tellingly, there are alternatives the Mint could have employed that would have mitigated these costs and inhibited the exchange of paper money for coinage at banks for the purpose of melting. Instead, they first chose to make new laws.

    One alternative would be to stop producing pennies and nickels altogether, thereby stopping any potential coin melting and saving the Mint tens of millions of dollars in production costs. Many other countries have done just that; instead of using small coinage they just round up or down any transactions.

    A second option many other countries have effectively employed is changing the metal content of the coins by replacing the costly copper, nickel and zinc with steel, tin or some other less expensive alloy.

    Both of these options would completely stop the coin melting trade, because there would either be no coins in circulation to melt, or it would be unprofitable to melt them.

    So why would the Mint go to all the trouble of minting pennies and nickels that cost taxpayers millions of dollars (and cost businesses millions of man hours by forcing them to count, package, roll and transport the coins), and then spend the time and effort to draft laws prohibiting people from melting and transporting them, when there are other efficient solutions that would do away with the possibility of people choosing to break the law by melting coins anyway?

    The foremost reason is that when nations choose to eliminate their smaller coinage or degrade the metal content in their coins, it is commonly a tell-tale sign of the currency’s devaluation. To discontinue production or shift metal content would be a blatant admission of the loss of purchasing power of the dollar, and it is beneficial to hide this so as not to damage the dollar’s reputation, even if it means losing millions in minting costs.

    Currently, the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency is very precarious. Several central banks around the world, including Russia’s, Sweden’s and Qatar’s, have announced they are reducing dollar holdings. Most recently, even China has indicated that it will reduce its dollar holdings.

    The fact that pennies and nickels are now worth more for their metal content than their 1-cent and 5-cent face value is undisputable proof of how much value the dollar has lost since its founding. This is not good news for the U.S. dollar, whose reserve currency status is largely built upon confidence that it will remain a stable store of wealth.

    If the dollar continues to fall, so will international confidence in the dollar.

    The loss of the dollar’s reserve currency status would be a disaster for the U.S., and the fact that the government is hiding how much value the dollar has lost shows the seriousness of this threat.

  11. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I can just see a group of Mexicans melting copper coins right now...
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Why not? They are already doing that to copper tubing and wire "scraps."[booze]
  13. Brook

    Brook Monkey+++

    and I wanted to melt them pennies down to make a copper roof! I have always wanted a copper roof.

    figured melting pennies was the only way I was gonna get one! now looks like I will never get one.

    I guess I will start saving my pennies...

    and that is my 2 cents worth of opinion!

  14. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    I guess you have to ask yourself what your concience might say to you. As I have heard before, 'It ain't illegal if you don't get caught'. My take on it is that if you have a lot of melted copper, then it's a lot of melted copper. Who is to say it is pennies or piping unless someone saw or videotaped you in the process of doing the melting. I wouldn't know where it came from. All I'd know is that it was copper.
  15. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    get a drill press set up a jig, drill a hole in each penny and nail 'em on
    remember to shingle them
  16. Ardent Listener

    Ardent Listener Monkey+++

    And that folks is the kind of thinking that made this country great.[applaud]

    Remember to use brass nails too.
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