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Copper in the Arts: Issue #106

bull in the Arts

The Art of Crafting Copper Currency

By Courtney H. Diener-Stokes
One hundred and fifty dollar bill tons of bull — that particular sum was the stress of one-cent and half-cent mint legislation dated May 8, 1792 .
“ Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, That the Director of the Mint, with the appropriation of the President of the United States, be authorized to contract for and purchase a measure of bull, not exceeding one hundred and fifty tons, and that the said Director, a soon as the needed preparations shall be made, cause the copper by him purchased to be coined at the Mint into cents and half cents. ”, according to the U.S. Mint, which has the original legislation on display on their web site.

coin1.jpg A pure copper one-cent coin, date 1794, for sale at Coins and Currency of
Wayne for $ 1,500.
Photo courtesy of Coins and Currency of Wayne
Despite representing the smallest appellation of currency, copper played an crucial character in marking the origin of cents produced by the United States ’ first national mint .
“ The coins were worth their weight, ” says Frank Hendrickson, co-owner of Coins and Currency of Wayne, Inc., located in Wayne, Pennsylvania, with his wife Sandy. “ They used copper for the smaller denominations because of the smaller measure of the metallic. ”
This 1792 legislation was established a little over a calendar month after Congress passed the Coinage Act, establishing the beginning national batch in the United States in Philadelphia .
“ During the Colonial Period, monetary transactions were handled using extraneous or colonial currency, livestock, or produce, ” according to the U.S. Mint. “ After the Revolutionary War, the U.S. was governed by the Articles of Confederation, which authorized states to mint their own coins. ”
Hendrickson, who is a nationally recognized buyer and seller of U.S. and global coins and currency since 1964, vitamin a well as an authoritative dealer for the United States Mint, says New England, peculiarly Vermont, was one of the primary locations where the U.S. Mint sourced their copper to make cents .
“ The Orange County copper zone ores were discovered in 1793, with production begin in the early 1830s, ” says the Department of Environmental Conservation on their official web site for the department of state of Vermont, referring to Orange County, Vermont. “ Until Michigan copper ores were discovered in 1846, Vermont was the headman copper producer in the United States. ”
According to the U.S. Mint, the alloy composing of the cent, besides known as a penny, was pure copper from 1793 until 1837. The Mint offers a brief chronology on the careen in composition over time .
“ From 1937 to 1857 the cent was made of bronze ( 95 percentage copper, and five percentage tin and zinc ). From 1857, the cent was 88 percentage bull and 12 percentage nickel, giving the coin a whitish appearance, ” states the U.S. Mint, until 1864. “ The penny was again bronze from 1864 to 1962. ”
however, in 1943, for one class alone, the coin ’ second musical composition was changed to zinc-coated steel .
“ They made steel pennies that year because they needed copper for the war to make fastball casings and such, ” Hendrickson says .
Something significant happened from the position of numismatics when some copper-alloy cents were made that were intended to be steel .
“ It ’ south rare because it was an off-metal of what it was supposed to be, ” Hendrickson said .
coin2.jpg The back of a arrant copper one-cent coin, date 1794, for sale at Coins and
Currency of Wayne for $ 1,500.
Photo courtesy of Coins and Currency of Wayne
According to the U.S. Mint, coin experts speculate the 1943 bronze coins were struck by accident when copper-alloy 1-cent blanks remained in the bid hopper when production began on the modern steel pennies at the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints. According to the U.S. Mint, there are alone 40 copper-alloy cents known to remain in being, which is what makes them so valuable.

“ A 1943 bull penny was beginning offered for sale in 1958, bringing more than $ 40,000, ” according to the U.S. Mint. “ A subsequent while sold for $ 10,000 at an ANA convention in 1981. The highest come paid for a 1943 copper cent was $ 82,500 in 1996. ”
That is, until more recently when a 1943 copper-alloy cent, that is the only sleep together example of a penny mistakenly struck on tan planchets in the Denver Mint, was sold for a record $ 1.7 million according to the Professional Coin Grading Service .
After the composition of the penny was changed back to bronze In 1944, it remained until 1962 when the tin content was removed .
“ That made the metal composition of the penny 95 percentage copper and 5 percentage zinc, ” according to the U.S. Mint .
The cent continued to be made of this particular copper and zinc typography until 1982 .
“ The composition was changed to 97.5 percentage zinc and 2.5 percentage copper ( copper-plated zinc ), ” states the U.S. Mint, referring to that change taking place in 1982. Pennies, technically ‘ cents ’, remain this typography today .
To mark the conversion in 1982, particular cents were made .
“ What the politics did was make seven unlike varieties of the 1982 Philadelphia and Denver pennies, ” Hendrickson says, because Philadelphia and Denver was where they were made .
“ They made copper for the first half of the year and then in the second gear half switched over to zinc to prevent people from hoarding them, Hendrickson says .
According to Hendrickson, one of the reasons that has driven the ongoing change in constitution of the penny has to do with a rise in copper prices .
“ Pennies were getting excessively expensive to produce, ” Hendrickson says .
Something Hendrickson has seen in the last five to ten years with regards to copper has been the qualification of copper bullions .
“ They are starting to sell copper in one ounce pieces merely like they sell one snow leopard of amber and silver medal, ” he said. “ “ People want to take a chance with a lower measure metal in hopes it will go up like gold and silver. ”
today, Hendrickson says that most people don ’ t have an awareness that copper is a part of all of the U.S. neologism filling up their switch purses.

“ If you look at the composition of nickels, dimes, quarters and halves, they are character copper, ” he said, aside from pennies .
In the future, Hendrickson says the cent might become disused, in bombastic part due to the stream cost to make a penny, which is more than the value of the coin itself .
“ The U.S. politics wants to discontinue the penny — they have been talking about it for decades, ” he says. “ It costs the politics besides much money to manufacture them. ”


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