Penny Miser Sorters, Turning Pennies into Profits
Perhaps it was a grandparent or guardian that first explained to you the value of saving older copper pennies. You may have saved a couple in your piggy bank only to spend them a couple days later because after all, how could a penny be worth more than a cent?
As far as the US Department of Treasury is concerned, those copper "wheat" pennies produced from 1909 to 1958 are typically worth a cent. There are a few types of rare wheat pennies that will yield a value far greater than their face value, but the copper content doesn't necessarily give it a higher value. That being said, most people agree that all wheat pennies are worth at least 3 times their face value.
Taking that basic fact into account, you can then multiply that value by a much larger number when using a Copper Penny Miser Sorter. There are many kinds of these sorters available, typically the more you spend the faster they sort the pennies.
One that I have used and recommend is the "Pennywise" sorter. For less than 120$, you have a machine that is 97% accurate and has the potential of sorting 3000 pennies per hour. It doesn't take much to set these machines up as most of the equipment is already included, and to me 3000 pennies per hour is fast enough. There are cheaper machines for 30$ or 40$ if you look on ebay.com, but you need to build something for the machine to sit on and they require a little more effort to set up. You can see the Pennywise machine at work on YouTube as well, and see if it looks like something you would like to buy.
Now that you have figured out which sorter you are going to use, (homemade, mid-range like the Pennywise sorter, or top of the line for around $399) you will need to come up with a strategy for getting the pennies and selling the pennies. In terms of acquiring a large amount of pennies, most banks will change out any kind of currency you have without a fee as a service for banking with them. If you are going to get a couple hundred dollars worth of pennies, however, make sure you call ahead of time. Also, it helps to have a branch bank because eventually you will exhaust the area's copper pennies and it's a good idea to try new locations. Having a branch bank will allow you to get pennies from different locations, and keep your copper yield high.
Ultimately your goal will be to sell these pennies, and that is where real worth is tested. Fortunately, if you check online auction sites like eBay you will see that there are people buying bulk copper pennies for much more than their face value. There are two reasons for this. Number one, people are stockpiling the pennies in case we face some kind of crisis and copper prices soar. The second reason for keeping these pennies is because of their age, there could be valuable individual pennies hidden within the lot. The chances of finding such a rare penny are greater since everything that is not copper has been sorted out, and therefore only older pennies remain.
When you get started, don't get disappointed if it takes you a while to find any wheat pennies. If you stick with it, the chances are in your favor to turn pennies into profits.