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topic 17527

The Zinc-Coated Penny Dilemma


2002

I have a zinc-coated penny dated 1943. I found it one day while out for a walk. I understand that these pennies were minted during the time of WWII (hence the date) and that this was done to preserve copper for the war efforts. I am still confused as to what all the surplus copper was used for and when the circulation of these zinc-coated pennies was discontinued. I have been fascinated with this "unusual" penny ever since I found it. Any information would be helpful. Thank you.

Robert Harris
- Chicago, Illinois USA


2002

Take a magnet and hold it up to that '43 penny. You'll soon learn it isn't zinc coated, but rather stamped from steel. Copper was rationed for a variety of reasons, I'll bet the biggest was for the manufacture of bullets.

Jake Koch
G. J. Nikolas & Co., Inc.
supporting advertiser
Bellwood, Illinois
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2003

I was wondering why pennies aren't made entirely out of zinc? Why do they place a copper coating over the zinc.

Alyson Jordan
- Richton Park, Illinois, U.S.A


January 1, 2013

Hi Alyson. Zinc corrodes too rapidly to be useful as a coin.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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