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Answered 2012-08-07 11:56:13

They stopped making copper pennies in 1982. There are some 1982 pennies that are 95% copper and some that are not. 1983 pennies that are 95% exist but are rare and are collectors items.

While the above statement would seem to be correct, it is, however, not completely true. The U.S. has never stopped making copper pennies, or pennies with some copper content, except in 1943, when they were made of a low-grade carbon steel and coated with zinc (having a grey color); this change was due to the need for copper and brass during World War II. These 1943 wartime pennies are commonly referred to as "steel" pennies. They contain NO copper...

More correctly, 1982 was the last mint year for 95% copper cents. Since mid-1982, the newest (current, as of 2012) composition for U.S. one-cent coins ("pennies") has an inner core alloy of 99.2% zinc with 0.8% copper, with the coin balance as an outer plating of pure copper, for a total coin composition of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. These current pennies are commonly called "zinc pennies", due to their heavy-majority zinc content, even though they do still contain some copper. The composition of U.S. pennies from mid-1864 to mid-1982 was an alloy of 95% copper with either 5% tin-and-zinc ("bronze" pennies) or 5% zinc ("brass" pennies). Before that, the composition was an alloy of 88% copper with 12% nickel from mid-1857 to mid-1864 (the only time any U.S. pennies ever contained nickel), and, initially, from 1793 to mid-1857, the first U.S. pennies were made of pure (100%) copper.

Since the first U.S. one-cent coins in 1793, U.S. pennies have always contained at least some copper, except, again, in the singular case of the year 1943, the so-called "steel" pennies.

Therefore, the most correct answer to the question is either:

(1) the U.S. has never stopped making copper pennies, except in 1943; or

(2) 1943 is the only year the U.S. stopped making copper pennies, or any pennies with NO copper in them.

Hope this helps!

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Due to the rising price of copper, pennies were worth more than face value.


The price of the copper used to make a penny cost more than a penny.


All US pennies made before 1982 are copper, along with some made in 1982 that are copper, however, copper-coated zinc pennies were also used during that year making identification by weighing necessary.


Pennies are zinc, but they are copper plated.


US Pennies were made of 95% copper (with the exception of the 1943 steel cent) from 1864-1982. Midway through 1982, the cent switched to copper plated zinc. So any penny dated 1983-present is just copper plated zinc. However a coin dated 1982 could either be 95% copper or copper plated zinc. A copper coin should weigh about 3.11 grams while the zinc pennies are lighter at about 2.5 grams.


The metal copper- however, US pennies are now copper plated zinc.


Yes, Copper is used in us Pennies.


The last year for copper US pennies was 1982.


No, pre-1982 pennies are 95% copper and post-1982 pennies are made out of mostly zinc with a thing copper coating


Because it costs more than a penny to produce a penny.


Probably because of their impending involvement in WWII. They will have needed it '...for the war effort...'


Pre-1982 pennies are made of bronze, which is 95% copper plus 5% tin and/or zinc. Post-1982 pennies are zinc with a thin coating of copper.


No. Pennies were made of copper (Now US pennies are made of copper plated zinc) Magnets are made of iron or other ferro-magnetic metals.


No way to answer, because there are at least 2 common types of US pennies. There are approximately 145 copper pennies in a pound.There are approximately 181 copper plated zinc pennies in a pound.


Although US one-cent coins (pennies) were once mostly copper, today they are 97.5% zinc with a copper plating. Copper nails are rare due to the metal's malleable nature, but zinc nails can be plated with copper as are pennies. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and is widely used.


copper shortage during the war. The us was making pennies out of aluminum during that same period. They made pennies out of steele during WWII. These are known as 'Steelies'


Since 1982, US pennies have been made of zinc with a thin copper coating. The specific percentages are 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.


The materials used to mint pennies has changed. Originally, pennies were made of almost pure copper. Today, British pennies are made of nickel/steel blanks coated in copper, and US "pennies" (actually cents) are made of zinc blanks coated in copper.


Zinc is used for Canadian nickels and the cores of Canadian pennies (i dont know about the US). Pennies are made from Zinc cores and coated with copper. Its cheaper than making pennies out of copper. (They used to make pennies out of copper, but they stopped because people would get pennies and melt them down and sell the copper for profit :D ) -Besides being used as a filler metal, zinc is widely used in corrosion management. It is used in paint, to coat metals, and as anodes on the bottom of boats. It also is used in vitamins.


No, it is illegal to melt or export US pennies to melt them down for their copper value.


1943 to save copper for the war effort.


US pennies switched from copper to zinc due to the rising price of copper. Zinc is much less expensive.


A u.s penny is made of copper <><><> New (1982 and later) US pennies are copper plated zinc.


Cents minted since mid-1982 are 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.


US "pennies" (cents) are made of 97.5% zinc plated with 2.5% copper Canadian and European cents as well as British pennies are made of copper-plated steel.



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