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The "Silver Penny"
I found a silver penny that is dated 1988. How can I tell if its silver or zinc? Is it valuable? What should I do with it?Camille V
student - Franklin, TN, United States
Countless pennies have been plated by students for experiments, Camille. Countless pennies have been professionally plated as gimmicks and give-aways for various promotions. So finding a silver penny is like finding a raffle ticket: it could be slightly valuable but the odds are overwhelming that it isn't worth more than a penny. Find an associate who collects coins or an exceptionally patient coin dealer, and bring them a smile and a donut. But if you repeat the action a hundred times, I think you're unlikely to recover the cost of the donuts.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Ed. note: We have tried our best with this 'silver penny' question here and on letters 9504, 9941, and 19105. Please read those other letters as well. There is no point in posting additional similar questions, folks.