What would you like to do?

Why is the outside surface of a penny made of copper and not zinc?

already exists.

Would you like to merge this question into it?

already exists as an alternate of this question.

Would you like to make it the primary and merge this question into it?

exists and is an alternate of .

Traditionally, the US penny (or, more properly, the US one cent coin) has been made of copper or copper with a small amount of zinc (except in 1943, when it was made of steel with a zinc coating). During 1982, as the price of copper meant that the "melt value" of the coin was more than one cent (that is, it had more than one cent's worth of copper), the decision was taken to produce the penny out of a cheaper metal - zinc. A coating of pure copper (equal to 2.5% of the total composition of the penny) was added so as not to change the appearance of the penny.
3 people found this useful
Thanks for the feedback!

How and when did pennies start being made of zinc and copper instead of just copper?

It turns out that the solid copper U.S. cent was minted from 1793 to 1837. After that, it was "mostly" copper, and the other metals included in the alloy varied a bit from tim

Are pennies made of mostly copper or zinc?

pennies are made of mostly zinc but have some copper in them    MoreThe composition of US cents was changed from bronze in mid-1982. The coins now have a zinc core plated

How would you separate zinc and copper in a penny?

Gently sand about 1/3 of the edge of the penny just enough to remove the copper and expose the zinc.   Then soak the coin in 5% Muriatic acid in a glass dish until it stop

Are all 1982 pennies made of mostly of copper or are they all zinc?

The composition was changed in the middle of the year so some 1982 cents were made of bronze while others are copper-plated zinc. The best way to tell them apart is by weigh

When were copper coated zinc pennies first made?

The cent's composition was changed in mid-1982 due to rising copper prices. Cents dated 1982 were struck in both bronze and copper-plated zinc. The easiest way to tell them