I have written and talked to people about the lowly copper penny for quite some time.
US pennies minted before 1982 (and some struck during the first part of that year) are made of 95% copper. Later pennies contain only 2.5% copper.
It takes approximately 115 pennies to make 1 pound of copper. If copper is at $1.15 per pound then a copper penny will be worth one cent. Currently copper is more than 3 times that amount. This means that 1 pre 1982 penny contains more than 3 cents worth of copper!
Don’t underestimate this. You may be tempted to say ‘oh its only pennies…’
In the middle of 1982 the composition of the penny was drastically changed. Previous cents were minted from 95% copper but were changed to 0.05% copper in the form of a micro-coating of copper over a zinc core… From – Valuable Copper Pennies and Zinc Errors
While these coins are getting less common in pocket change every day they are still common enough to be found by anyone who keeps an eye out. If you see a US cent with a date earlier than 1982 you are looking at a coin that is worth more than double the face value in copper alone! … From – Save Those Copper Pennies
Recently I noticed that copper is beginning to be sold on eBay.
Copper bars and rounds are selling at 4 to 5 times or more above their actual copper content. Don’t fall victim to anything like that! Always try to get your metal as close to the actual spot value as you can.
Copper is also being sold in the form of common circulated pre-1982 cents particularly by the roll. People are actually paying $5 and up for a roll of 50 copper cents (including shipping). I believe that is a very strong indication of where the market is headed with these copper cents.
Right now you can still find these copper pennies in your pocket change. But I have noticed that they are becoming less common.
Try to get penny rolls that aren’t “new”. For example I noticed some penny rolls at a bank that were hand wrapped. I asked for a few of them and when I checked I found quite a few coppers in the mix.
I was asked, “Yeah, but you cant take pennies to the recycler and sell them for scrap…” I am not advocating that you melt these copper cents. I am recommending that you get as many as you can and hold onto them. Just put them back.