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Coin and Paper Money Collecting/1998 wide am silver lincoln cent also larger than the copper one


1998 lincoln wide AM cent silver and much larger
1998 lincoln wide AM c  
I have a 1998 wide AM lincoln cent, it is larger that the other 1998 wide AM Lincoln cent I have, its silver in color and does not stick to a magnet. I have been holding on to this sence my grandfather had given to me and said it was a very rare and unique coin take good care of it, I did hold on to it and when he passed some years later he had left his the whole coin collection to me. I was the only grandchild that would sit there for hours on sundays and listen to him explain what coins where rare and why on the wheat and lincoln cents.  I did show a few coin collector experts online, one said he was aware of the 1998 wide AM findings having other claims to errors and also becoming the more scarce coin of the 3, he asked if i would be willing to send him the coin through the mail that he would love to be able to take a close look at it, one other said it was becoming more valuable and the more sort after of the wide AM's and he wanted me to drive 5 hours so he could see it close up. I did not want to drive 5 hours away and I was not comfortable mailing this coin through the mail and risk it disappearing or stolen. the few tiny shiny silver scratches on the front of the coin I did trying to see if it was copper underneath, I know Not very smart of me, I would love to know if it is silver it can not be zinc, and have others been found like this or similar to this and why is it so much larger. the only thing I do know about this coin that i dont have to ask you about is the fact that it is a 1998 wide AM.  thank you so much for your help with this


The attached photo makes it difficult to say what you have, but the color tells me it is likely an un-plated zinc cent. Starting in 1982, the mint changed the cent composition and started using copper plated zinc planchets. The blanks are made outside the mint by a private firm, and some have been known to reach the mint without the plating and get struck. In uncirculated condition, they can sell for around $100. These can be altered by removing the copper plating after the coin was struck. Altered coins have no added value. A real copper plated zinc cent weighs 2.5 grams or .080 troy ounce. One without the plating should weigh a little less.

For more information on wide "AM" cents, see: or

The copper plated zinc versions of the wide 1998 "AM" cents sell for around $35 and up.  

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Ronald Fern


I can answer most all questions relating to US coins, tokens, and currency. I'm not strong on world coins or ancients. Primary field of expertise is errors and varieties. Over 55 years experience in coin collecting. Part time dealer since 1976. Employed by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for over 34 years as an Industrial Engineer/Technical Specialist before retiring in 2002.


Worked weekends for "Lonesome" John in the late 1960's to mid 1970's processing error coins, packaging, and preparing orders. Worked with John Devine and Fred Weinberg on several California Error A Rama's in the early 1970's. Served as display judge at annual Error-A-Rama coin shows. Opened and operated mail order coin business DBA "CAL ERRORS" in 1976. Contributor to Alan Herbert's "Official Price Guide To Mint Errors" and Fivaz/Stanton "Cherrypickers' Guide". Worked Saturdays at Huntington Beach Coin Exchange 1980-1999. Had table and sold coins at a number of coin and gun shows in So CA, AZ and NV. Sell coins, tokens and currency on Facebook. Past "Errorscope" Editor. Presently CONECA Examiner.


Errorscope, Numismatic News, Civil War Token Journal, Error and Variety News

AA Degree LBCC pre Engineering, 1964 BS Degree CSULB Ind Technology, 1968

Awards and Honors
1st Place EAR Trophy for Civil War Token Errors, NLG Author of Year Award for best monthly coin column "Error News and Views" in small Numismatic paper, owned and published by Ray Anthony.

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