Thursday, April 06, 2006

Since Commodities Are Soaring, I am Saving Nickels and Pre-1982 Pennies

The price of copper has continued to soar. As of the commodity market close today, one pound of copper was trading for $2.6112. The price of nickel and zinc has also been soaring - as of today's market close, one pound of zinc was trading for $1.2909 and one pound of nickel was trading for $7.7564.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been saving my pre-1982 pennies for several months now because pre-1982 pennies contained 95% copper and copper has risen so much in value. A pre-1982 penny now contains about 1.745 cents worth of copper in it. That is, the copper in a pre-1982 penny is worth 74.5% more than the face value of a penny.

Nickels also contain a large percentage of copper. Almost all nickels made between 1938 and 2006 contain 75% copper and 25% nickel (the exception was during 1942-1945 when almost all nickels contained silver and manganese instead of nickel). The current commodity value of the metals in a nickel is about 4.24936 cents, or 84.98% of the 5-cent face value of a nickel. Given how well commodities have been performing, it seems likely that the prices of copper and nickel will continue to rise to the point at which the metal in the nickel are worth more than the face value of the nickel. I have therefore been hording the nickels I get in change. Also, because the design on all nickels made from 2006 on into the future is different than the design on older nickels, I believe that nickels from 2005 and earlier will also eventually have a numismatic value exceeding five cents, regardless of the metal value contained within them.

Here is an image captured from showing the current intrinsic values of various coins in circulation based on the value of the metals contained within those coins:

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