Rust removal from zinc pennies
I have a large number of 1943 zinc pennies. They got damp and rusted. How can I remove the rust?Addison G
- Hopewell Junction, New York, USA
In response to your question, 1st you must understand zinc plating. Zinc is what's called a "sacrificial" coating, which means that it will sacrifice itself to corrosion, and protect the metal. So if your pennies are rusted, then consider that the zinc did its job. It rusted, and saved the penny. It may not look pretty, but it saved the metal. You can probably get the rust off but not w/out ruining the penny.(maybe try hot phosphoric acid, or hydrochloric, around a 6M concentration run at 120 degrees F.)Joel A
- Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, USA
Actually Addison, the 1943 pennies are zinc plated steel, not zinc. I'd clean them off with an alkaline rust remover, of which your local hardware store should have several brands.
It is hard to believe, but, try hair spray from a dollar store. Be sure to rinse immediately. Sometimes wiping hard with a towel, wrap w/ plastic wrap (very tightly) and then wrap for display leaving the plastic wrap intact.David S
- Philadelphia, Pa USA
i found a 1943 silver penny and I would like to know what possible could have made it that way or if it was made that way. is it worth anything?Greg
- Clinton, Maryland, USA
Ed. note: This site is about industrial metal finishing. While we're happy to veer off topic a bit to try to help students, hobbyists, and consumers with their metal finishing questions, we do ask that people not post questions about coin markings or valuations, because that would cause the site to lose focus, and it's actually not possible to help anyway. Thanks!
My wife and I were cleaning the back yard up and she found a 1939 wheat penny. I washed the dirt off but how do I get the rust off. We have recently started a coin collection since moving to Springfield Vt. This is the oldest coin so far that we have found.Andrew E
hobbyist - Springfield, Vermont
To Greg in Maryland: That penny of 1943 is really steel. It was made after/ during a war, so copper was harder to come by. The highest of value it COULD be are $75 for a Bold Double "D" mint mark [1943 D] near flawless, $15 for near flawless 1943 S, $8 for near flawless 1943 D, and 1943 plain is $6. I have one two, thought its value is only as low as
$.02, high is $0.05.
- York, Pennsylvania, USA