Coin and Paper Money Collecting/77 & 88 steel penny's


QUESTION: Hi i have question,when i was about 18,19 years old i cleaned a major department store sweeping floors and found change all the time,well going through my old coin jar i found these coins in i have been searching on line and seen people talk about zinc, mercury but everybody says the same thing it does not stick to a magnet well mine do...i would like to know your expertise on this please thank you....

ANSWER: Hi Thomas,  Get a digital scale that weighs in grams.  You can try your local jewelry store and see if they are nice enough to let you get a weight on the two cents.  A steel cent with have a weight of 2.7 grams, a zinc cent 2.5 grams, and a copper cent 3.1 grams.   Good Luck! Troy

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QUESTION: ok I put the 1977D coin on scale and it read 3.3 grams put on the 1988D and it read 2.8 grams I also put some 1943 steel penny's I have 4 of them they read 2.7 and 1 was 2.9.. thanks for your info let me know what you think, thanks again TROY.....

Hi Thomas, Without seeing the coins and using my scale which is certified I cannot say why your coins don't have correct weights.  Because so many of your coins are off I can only guess your scale is not correct, the coins are worn and have matter on them, or these is some other problem.  You might wait for a coin show in your area to get different opinions on the coins to be sure what they are.  Good Luck!  Troy

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

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Troy Thoreson


Please, no error coin questions unless your coin is dated 1955 or before. I can answer questions regarding all U.S. Coins, Gold & Silver bullion, including regular mint and proof issue coins and currency. Since 2009, I have been contributing to the Red Book, "A Guide Book of United States Coins", by R.S. Yeoman along with two other publications. I currently run two coin shops in California.


I have over 30 years experience in Numismatics. I own two coin shops and have examined thousands of coins over the years. Please allow up to 2 business days for an answer. This is a free service and I am happy to answer questions - but please be patient and understanding of my time.

My company is an authorized P.C.G.S. and N.G.C. dealer. I am a Life Member of the American Numismatic Association and California State Numismatic Association. We are also an authorized Whites Metal Detector dealership.

I have written articles for Coin World and the Rare Coin Market Report.

I have a certificate of completion from the American Numismatic Association on how to detect counterfeit U.S. Gold Coins and how to Grade U.S. Coins along with other certifications. I have a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Accounting and a minor in Computer Information Systems.

Awards and Honors
I am listed as a contributor to the Red Book, "A Guide Book of United States Coins", the Red Book, by R.S. Yeoman. I have been contributing to the Red Book since 2009. I also contribute to the Blue Book and the new Professional edition Red Book. I have many other awards and honors.

Past/Present Clients
My past consulting clients included eBay, Inc., Yahoo! Auctions, and the United States Postal Service. I have many other great customers and help all no matter their level of collecting.

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