Yesterday was a historic day in Canadian monetary history, as the mint stopped distributing pennies. As expected, this sparked a debate in some mainstream media outlets in these United States as to whether it was time for us to do the same.
I have been interested in the metal content of U.S. coins for many years. Basically, ever since I discovered that pre-1965 dimes and quarters are actually 90% silver. As soon as I understood the implications of this, I chastised my dad for not saving every coin he could find (fortunately my grandmother did save some). I quickly became aware of the fact that pre-1982 pennies are 95% copper, and therefore worth quite a bit more than one cent (2.5 cents at today’s copper price). They are still relatively easy to find in change and I have been putting them aside ever since.
Some smart people in the financial world have publicly stated they are now hoarding nickels, as well as some personal friends of mine. Even the 2013 nickel is actually worth more than five cents (only slightly more at 5.5 cents), but I am keeping a close watch. At some point, I will probably start keeping these as well. I’m just waiting for a signal, perhaps something like the U.S. eliminating the penny…
My favorite site for real time values of U.S. coins based on their metal content is coinflation.com
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