Pre-1982 pennies now contain 2.41 cents worth of copper.

Discussion in 'Commodity Futures' started by Rearden Metal, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. With copper now at $3.72/pound, every single pre-1982 U.S. penny now contains 2.41 cents worth of copper ore.

    It may or may not be legal, but a handful of shrewd businessmen <b>will</b> make millions of dollars by devising an efficient way to sort pre-1982 pennies from the newer coins, taking these pennies out of circulation by the tens of millions, smelting them down, and then selling the ore. There may be opportunities which are even <b>more</b> lucrative, using non-U.S. coins.

    Daytrading was the path to easy money in the late 90's, while online poker filled this role from '03 to '04. <b>Today's</b> easy money is now there for the taking- by smelting pennies.

    I know nothing about mechanical coin sorting or metallurgy.
    Seed money? That, I <b>do</b> have.

    So... how do I get mine?
  2. i believe canadian pennies were pure copper from 1992 and back. i was thinking about this a while back,, thought hard , but figure it will most likely just be a new venture for the homeless.
  3. Pekelo


    You don't need to select pre-1982 pennies. Just take it to the US Mint and offer them for 1.10-1.15 a penny, they should take it, if they have any business-sense:

    "The Mint estimates it will cost 1.23 cents per penny and 5.73 cents per nickel this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The cost of producing a penny has risen 27% in the last year, while nickel manufacturing costs have risen 19%."

    So paying you 1.15 they would still save about 6-7% and they don't have to manufacture anything... :)

    Same with nickels offer them for 5.5 cents, and everybody is happy. The whole system would work exactly the opposite way as the coinchange machines at the grocery store. There you are charged 8% or so for the exchange, here the US Mint would pay you 8-10% for the privilage of sorting your coins... :)
  4. I just looked it up. No question, it seems like Canadian pennies are the better opportunity.

    Pre-<b>1997</b> Canadian pennies contain 98% copper!

    The fate of this entire project hinges on legality issues. If smelting down pennies en masse is a felony, I'm out.
  5. the legal issue is obvious, its the time and effort that would be of concern,, what is your time worth , and how many pennies can you sort out and melt down to truely make it worth it,,, i figure the smartest way to sort them would be by weight,, however that would be on a single penny basis,, so therefore back to the homeless idea,, you would have to hire one to get a cheap enough rate,, and since they would likely rip you off,, you mine as well just leave that new career to them, besides jail is a nicer home to them , not us,.
  6. Dude, It’s the government.

    The guy who spearheaded New Coke has better business sense abilities than they do.
  7. i can't remember the source, but i thought i read recently that it's actually not illegal to melt these down. i checked a sample of my own coin jar just out of curiosity and was surprised to find at least 25% pre 82
  8. Brandonf

    Brandonf ET Sponsor

    I was reading some mafia book once and they talked about Joe Colombo. They FBI got him all bugged out and he formed the Italian American Civil rights group because they arrested one of his sons for melting down US Currency for metal. So, at least back in the 60's or 70's in theory it was illegal..I dont know about now.

    "A penny weighs 2.5 g. That means you would need 408,163 pre-1997 pennies to end up with a tonne of copper. As legal tender, this stash would be worth $4,081.63 but as a potential truckload of copper destined for China this would bring in US$7,230* just now on the LME futures market.

    The good news is there may be enough pennies out there to pull something like this off: The mint produced almost three billion pennies between 1990 and '96.

    <b>The bad news: You'd have to break the law to do it.</b> It's illegal in <b>Canada</b> to deface our coins. You're not even supposed to put them on the railway tracks for trains to squish. "

    *Price is much higher now.
  10. cost of hireing a bum to collect and melt down pennies= $22.95
    cost to ship 1 ton of copper to china = $3,452
    cost of screwing the government anyway possible=priceless.
    for everything else there's trading.
    #10     Jul 11, 2006