Friday, August 10, 2007

How to Collect Pre-1982 Pennies and Nickels

I have previously mentioned that I am collecting nickel coins and pre-1982 pennies because their intrinsic melt values (i.e., the commodity value of the metals comprising the coins) exceed their respective face value. According to, as of the market close on August 10, 2007, a U.S. nickel coin has a melt value of 6.34 cents (i.e., 26.88% above face value) and a pre-1982 penny has a melt value of about 2.42 cents (i.e., 142% above face value).

I am saving nickels and pre-1982 for their commodity value and because I passively enjoy coin collecting. The odds are that I'll never make that much money off collecting coins for their commodity value. To be perfectly honest, if I didn't enjoy collecting coins, this would probably be a waste of time.

I have seen people attempting to sell pre-1982 pennies for prices well above face value (and even above the melt value). This seems like a total rip-off to me, given the fact that pre-1982 pennies (and nickels) are still widely abundant in circulation. I know that many people are hoarding these coins, but don't forget that the U.S. Mint produced many billions of these coins that are still being used in commerce.

I personally save all of the nickels and pre-1982 pennies I receive in change, except for the ones that have gum on them or are extremely dirty. I also occasionally purchase rolls of pennies and nickels from bank branch offices. There is a bank branch office right across the street from where I live, so these rolls are easy to get.

I have purchase rolls of coins at face value from different bank branches and have never been hassled or charged a fee for doing so. I stopped purchasing rolls of pennies a long time ago because it was too much of a hassle to search through 50-penny rolls for pre-1982 pennies. However, every once in awhile I still purchase a few rolls of nickels. Once of the reasons why I like purchasing rolls of nickels is because I rarely receive and of the 2004 and 2005 "Westward Journey" commemorative nickels in circulation anymore. Luckily, however, I can usually find a few of the Westward Journey nickels in $2 rolls of nickels available at bank branches.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good advice. I will start saving the pre 1982 pennies for my 2 sons. I doubt they will ever get rich off it, but it sounds like a good investment and they are 5 & 7 so will enjoy the search!!

Anonymous said...

I have been saving these coins as well. I feel as though they may be useful when if the US falls further into debt. Our paper money will become worthless and we will need anything with melting value. It's kinda fun too.