Tag Archives: Lincoln cent

Why hoard copper Lincoln cents

21 Nov

For almost a year now, I have been hoarding all pre-1982 (copper) Lincoln cents. As you may have heard, the reason why the U.S. government changed the metal composition of the Lincoln cent in 1982 is that the cost in copper was higher than the face value of the coin. Before 1982, and even through part of 1982, all Lincoln cents contained 90% copper. All Lincoln cents made after 1982 to today, are mostly made of zinc clad on a thin layer of copper.

I have about 30 pounds of pre-1982 Lincoln cents. I weighed a pound worth of copper cents and the face value of that pound was $1.40 U.S. So I can surmise that if cashed in my copper cents, I would get approximately $42 U.S. dollars. However, were the government allow me to melt the cents and sell the copper, I would get about $93 U.S dollars (based on the price of copper as of today, November 21, 2012).

Of course, this is all academic at this point. It is illegal to melt U.S. Lincoln cents; period. I am hoping that by the time this changes, I will have a lot more copper cents and the price of copper will be higher still.

Unfortunately, the only source of copper cents for me is the ground. I have to find them with my XP Deus metal detector and I have to dig them out of the ground.

Fortunately, I love metal detecting and the profit to be made is entirely coincidental.

Happy Hunting and thank you for looking!

The Wheat-tab

15 May
1928 Lincoln cent reverse

I see a mean moon rising…

What you are looking at here is an oddity that I have encountered several times before. This wheat cent gave a VDI of 50 on the V3i during my lunch time hunt. Just so you know, nickels read 52 on the V3i. The signal was solid and repeatable.  And it was shallow too! Three inches under the ground! No other signal was forthcoming after I extracted this coin.

Why does this creature exist? My guess is that it has something to do with the Dirt Matrix. And what is that you ask? Well the Dirt Matrix is the conglomeration of variables in the soil such as minerals, EMI, moisture, bug poop, and the price of tea in China. All of these things came together and when the signal from my detector hit the coin, the signal returned did not report a Wheat Cent but rather something else.

And it doesn’t only affect Wheat cents. Silver dimes and clad coins have come in as something else on the V3i and the AT Pro. Once, I dug up a clad quarter a couple of inches under the ground that gave me a solid iron grunt on the AT Pro.

So what are we to make of this? Sadly the answer is obvious and painful: Dig Everything.

Thank you for looking!

Lunch hunt with the CZ-3D

10 Apr

At lunch, I went to an old school site. The school that once stood there was torn down about two or three years ago and the site is now a city park. The school opened in the very early years of the 20th century and so the potential for very old coins is there, except that the school was hunted heavily long before it was demolished and has been hunted heavily ever since. So my expectations for this hunt were to find a Jefferson nickel or two and because of the low expectations I hunted loosely without even bothering to overlap my swings. At the end of my 45 minutes I was surprised by my finds.

various metal objects

The wheels on the bus go 'round no more

I was very surprised by the toy cars. They usually sound like quarters on many detectors so why were they missed? The clad dime was another unexpected find. Four inches in the ground surely people didn’t leave it there on purpose! But the real shocker was the 1917 Lincoln cent. This baby was a little over six inches deep.  This wheat cent has the distinction of being the oldest coin I’ve dug up with the CZ-3D.

1917 Lincoln cent


Seems as if I need to grid this little site!

Thank you for looking.

Sunday’s hunt

27 Feb

Sunday morning, I met up with Steveouke from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum. We decided to hunt a very promising site; an old abandoned middle school. From the architecture, I figured the building to be from the 30’s or 40’s.  The sun was shining and the sky was vast and blue. My machine of choice for the hunt was the Garrett AT Pro.

Hunting with the AT Pro is always a lot of fun. Lighter than my V3i and simpler to use. It was like reconnecting with an old friend and remembering why you became friends in the first place. I must say though, I missed the multiple analysis screens of the V3i…

I really only hunted a very small area of the whole playground. I failed to find silver but I know silver is in there. I found seven wheat cents all from the 40’s and 50’s and a bunch of zinc cents.

Meanwhile, a couple of forum members hunted the old trashy park and found some cool coins, jewelry, and of course, silver dimes. Sigh! The more I talk smack about the Etrac, the more these guys prove me wrong! LOL!

Last, if you look carefully at the last picture, you will see a harmonica reed in the trash pile. I didn’t think these were really harmonica reeds since I find them often. Steveouke however, schooled me on the nuances of a harmonica reed and now I am a believer. I wonder why harmonica reeds are so common in old sites.

picture of abandoned school

Old Middle School

Seven wheat cents

Seven wheat cents tell me silver is in there

coins and metal trash

No silver but not because I didn't try!

Thank you for looking!

Another wheat cent from the hunted out park

20 Jan

I returned to Riverside park this evening. It was very, very cold but I am extremely excited about my new ability to sniff out old coins from the hunted out park.

I decided to grid out a small area bounded by trees. The area was about 20 feet by 20 feet. I began searching and about three minutes into the hunt, bam! I got a high tone with no hints of iron. The VDI number jumped around but no matter what angle I swung the coil at, the signal remained free of iron. The depth indicated on the V3i was 5.5 inches. Nice.

I dug this 1935 D wheat penny from the cold dirt.

1935 D Lincoln cent

Another old coin from the frozen dep

If you remember from my previous post, I set the White’s V3i to process the signal very slowly by setting the ground filter to 5Hz Band. I seem to remember reading that by setting the ground filter to 5 Hz Band, I tell the processor in the machine to take its time analyzing the signal. Anyway, the end result is that I have to swing very slowly to give the machine time to do its thing.

It appears to be working 🙂

It was brutally cold and even with gloves on, my hands were freezing. I decided to change locations after I found the wheat cent and went back to the old Girl Scout House to dig for mid tones. Soon into it, I got a nice repeatable mid tone with a consistent VDI at five inches of depth. I dug a hole and out came this Girl Scout emblem. It may have been part of a pin at one time.

Girl Scout emblem

May have been a pin at one time

Girl Scout emblem and Lincoln cent side by side

About the size of a U.S. cent

I was forced to stop when the sun went down and the wind chill was in the lower teens. My heart was aglow however. Suddenly this huge old park has become alive with possibilities for me. I love my V3i!!!

Thank you for looking!

The first coin of 2012

3 Jan

I hunted for six hours today looking for my first silver of 2012. I was very hopeful when the first coin I dug up was a 1928D wheat cent. However, for the rest of the hunt, I found only clad.

The city park where I hunted is very old and should contain plenty of old coins and although I found no silver coins today,  I remain optimistic about my chances of finding 75 silver coins this year.

1928D wheat cent

First coin of 2012

1928D reverse

In excellent shape

6 wheats but no silver…yet

9 Dec

I hunted with the V3i again today. I am getting more and more comfortable with the sounds and with each program. Today I spent the morning trying to detect a dime that I buried ten inches deep at my favorite park. Unfortunately, I could not repeat the magic at the park that I did in my yard. At least not yet. I still have a ways to go before I master all the relationships between settings in the V3i. I may be able to squeeze more depth from it yet.

As things stand however, I can detect a dime at eight inches fairly well at that park. I think I may detect the dime at nine inches with an iffy signal. I should have tested but I only tested at ten and eight inches. Before I left the park I managed to find a 1941D wheat which I misplaced in my car somewhere.

Later, I met with Patton from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum and we hunted a park he found hidden away in a neighborhood. I looked up the park on the Internet and learned that although the park is very new (1998), the site is an old school site.  We didn’t find anything of note (I found a flattened memorial penny) but we did get to see the park surrounded by sheriff officers. We don’t know what was going on. Patton had errands to run and I went to the park where a couple of large cents (I still can’t believe it) and a Morgan dollar were found this Fall. I managed to pull five wheats, including the oldest coin so far with my new V3i, a 1936S wheat penny. I hope to continue to find older and older coins, including lots of silver soon!

five wheat cents

The thing above the five wheat is a flattened memorial penny

1936S wheat cent

My oldest V3i coin thus far

Thank you for looking!

Long shot site may work out

19 Sep

Here I go again with another off the wall site. This one is the top of the river bank that also serves as a sidewalk of sorts. I figured people have been walking this path on top of the bank for 100 years so there ought to be coins there. I hunted this site for a little bit the other day after work. I posted about it. I went back today and hunted for a little longer and I found a 1924 wheat cent with no mint mark. I slowed down my pace and tightened my swings and found four memorial pennies from the early 60’s in the general area. There is a lot of ground to cover and I am sure there is silver in there. While I was digging a penny, a man approached me to ask me questions about the AT Pro. He is a fellow hunter and in fact, he was coming back from a hunt in the park next to this new site when he saw me. He was a very nice guy and after introductions I told him about the forum I hang out at.  He hunts Riverside park and so do I so I am sure I will run into him again.

Thank you for looking.

1923 Lincoln cent with no mint mark

1923 No Mint mark