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Why are there so many different types of 1982 pennies and how do you tell them apart?

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2006-08-04 21:21:30
2006-08-04 21:21:30

Between changing the composition of the US one-cent coin (often referred to as a "penny," even though the word has never appeared on the US coin) and experimenting with the size of the date, there are 7 different types of 1982 pennies: * 1982 copper, small date * 1982-D copper, small date * 1982 copper, large date * 1982-D copper, large date * 1982 copper-plated zinc * 1982-D copper-plated zinc * 1982-S copper proof It's easy to tell between the different mint marks; just look below the date. The plated zinc cents are slightly lighter, and don't give the distinctive "ring" of a copper (actually a copper-zinc alloy) cent. The only way to tell between the date sizes is to study pictures of the two, and notice the distinctions in how they look. Note that there was only one proof type, minted only in San Francisco.

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The weights are different. Pre-1982 pennies are 95% copper and weigh 3.11 grams. Newer ones are mostly zinc and weigh 2.5 grams.

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It depends if you are talking about pre-1982 pennies or post-1982 pennies.

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Presuming that you are asking about US Lincoln pennies, the answer is that it depends. If the pennies are pre-1982, they are 95% copper and 5% zinc and weigh 147 to the pound. If the pennies are post-1982, they are 2.5% copper and 97.5% zinc and weigh 181 to the pound. In 1982, both types were made. In 1943, pennies were made from steel coated with zinc (so-called "silver pennies" or "steel pennies") and in 1944 (and I think 1945 as well) from old brass shell casings, so their counts would be a bit different.

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

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There are a lot of different pennies in the world, but 11.34 US pennies minted since 1982 will weigh one ounce. It would only take 9.145 older pennies.


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