Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Value of Metal Content in Nickel Nears Seven Cents

As price inflation continues to climb, the nickel  is going to disappear from general circulation (as well some pennies).

Currently, according to Coinflation, the nickel, which is comprised of 75% copper and 25% nickel, contains $0.0696004 of metal value.

Pennies, those which were minted before 1982, contain 95% copper and 5% zinc. They currently have $0.0288818 of metal value. More recently, minted pennies are mostly zinc (97.5%) and have $0.006 of metal in them.


  1. The pre-1981 penny is 95% copper and 5% zinc. They're tough to find although not impossible. I remember having to scrounge them up for a science experiment in high school. Current pennies are 97.5% zinc and are worth $0.0060963 according to coinflation.

  2. Thanks Joe,

    I have made it clearer that it is the earlier pennies that contain the copper. BTW There is a significant weight difference, so you don't really have to look at the dates to detect the old from the new.

  3. "the nickel is going to disappear from general circulation"

    It will be another reminder that the USA has more than one currency.

  4. 1982 was the changeover year between the 95% copper and the 97% zinc coins. The weight difference is 3.1 grams for the copper and 2.5 grams for the zinc.

  5. I should have mentioned that in 1982 they produced both the zinc and copper and the weight is the way to tell the difference, because some of the zinc '82's look very similar to the copper ones.

  6. Actually, you can tell the difference by flipping them... The copper makes a ringing sound.