Investing In Copper Pennies: More Cons Than Pros?

Coin collectors are known to be very sentimental and even invest in copper pennies. But a lot of people wonder whether saving up on cents is a good idea. There are those who swear by copper pennies as the better alternative to gold or silver investing. While there are those (and they number in the majority) who think that pennies are just a waste of time. Is investing in copper pennies a good investment or not?

Let’s see both sides of the debate. You can make up your own mind whether the value of pennies as an investment is a penny-wise move, or a dollar-foolish one.


1.      The Copper in Copper Pennies is worth more than a cent

As of this writing, the melt price for scrap copper is around $3.24. A typical copper penny weighs around 3.11 grams. Let’s do some math here to come up with an amount. To get a pound of copper from copper pennies, you need approximately 146 copper pennies. Calculate how much a hundred and forty six pennies cost: $1.46.

The math should be proof enough for you. Get enough copper pennies, melt them, and then sell them by the pound. You get a 45% profit from this application (but take into consideration how much it costs melting metal).

2.      Copper Pennies have considerable value as collectors’ items

Coin collectors are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a penny that’s rare. There are several pennies that never saw circulation and these are the coins that coin collectors will pay an arm and leg for.

investing in copper pennies


1.      You need a lot of coins

If you did the math above then you can certainly calculate how many coins it will take you to come up with a profit of, let’s say, $100. Ok, we know you hate math so we’re doing it for you: You need at least 4,507 pennies to earn a hundred bucks. Where can you find pennies that many?

2.      Some Pennies are Not even Copper

Pennies minted after 1982 are made of zinc. As you all know, zinc costs less than copper. They are also lighter than their copper counterparts. You’ll definitely need more and more zinc pennies to eke out a good profit.

3.     Melting coins are illegal

At least those that are currently in circulation. Make sure you check on your pennies before even considering melting them.

4.     Melting can be expensive

You need to find a good metal smith to do the job right. And these guys can charge you a pretty penny (pun intended). You can do it yourself, but we will warn you in advance that it can be difficult and dangerous.

There you go: the pros and the cons. Always remember that there are two sides to a coin, copper pennies included. Investing in copper pennies can be a fun hobby, especially if you’re out to collect the rare ones. But if you plan on melting the metal to sell then you need quite a lot of them to turn in a profit. A lot of people will argue that it’s just not worth the effort.