The Amazing Copper Lincoln Cent
This is a Lincoln Copper Cent. Having one with this date in this condition would bring you a lot more then a pretty penny. The 1914-D Lincoln copper cent is worth many thousands of dollars to the lucky owner.
Of course not all coins are worth their weight in gold like this example. All of them however, between the year 1909 and the first half of 1982, are worth more then their face value.
As of late, the price of scrap copper has risen to a level that puts a common copper Lincoln cent at about three cents for the scrap value alone.
As of the date of this article the laws in the United States prohibit melting pennies. This prevents the coins from being scrapped for salvage at a profit. Anyone could just go buy two rolls of copper cents for one dollar and scrap them for three. The strain on the mint to keep cents in production would make it economically unfeasible.
Hence the change in the coins composition in the second half of 1982. A zinc planchet replaced the copper one and it was plated with just a small amount of finish.
At some point in the near future, US laws are expected to change. The cent may soon be discontinued and this action would make tis coin an obsolete coin and then they could be melted.
When this law is changed, there is going to be a mad rush to obtain copper Lincoln cents at face value. Savvy investors are socking away common date Lincoln copper cents already in anticipation of the change.
Copper Error cents
Mistakes pay big
When the United States mint makes a mistake, the numismatic world benefits in the form of an error coin.
These error coins very widely and can present themselves in many forms. Folded coins appear when the planchet gets stuck or a bent blank goes in.
Double strikes occur when the coin moves during the striking or the die may rotate. Some double dates are worth a fortune. I always recommend this publication, The Cherry Pickers Guide to United States coins, for researching error coins. All known errors are listed and it's a guide that every collector should own.
Prices for error coins also very widely and condition matters with this type of collectible as with most. Stronger double strikes raise value and a partially struck Lincoln copper cent is worth more if the date is intact. Listing the many types of errors would be impossible here. I'll leave it that any cent deviating from a perfect strike is valued above just the worth of the coin.
Collecting Cents By Date
What to look for
Key date Lincoln cents are abundant throughout the series. 1909 being the first year of issue, becomes the first key date and are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Other semi keys are the 1924-d and the 1931-s examples.
1914-d cents are worth thousands of dollars because of there low mintage numbers. Counterfeits have been made for years by unscrupulous tinkerers who would file the 1944-d cent to make a 1914-d. This practice fooled many into buying a bogus cent and now most collectors know the difference by the distance between the dates numerals.
Collecting key date pennies can be a very profitable endeavor considering they may be available in simple bank rolls that can be obtained to this date for face value from the local bank. Taking the time to go through a few rolls can turn a tidy profit.
If you are collecting by date then you should always try to get the key dates first in the best condition that you can afford and then fill in the common dates with matching coins.
Filling in the entire set by date is a formidable task, with over one hundred coins to fill the set and even more if you include all the proof examples. One of the most popular collectibles in the world today, the Lincoln copper cent is truly a penny stock worth investing in.