What are pennies, quarters, dimes, nickels, half dollars and dollar coins made of?


The silver shortage caused our coins to change since the 60's. Pennies are still copper but the other coins are a nickle alloy.

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dimes Currency Coins Numismatics

Coins of the United States dollar were first minted in 1792. New coins have been produced annually since then and they make up a valuable aspect of the United States currency system. Today, circulating coins exist in denominations of 1¢ (i.e. 1 cent or $0.01), 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1.00. Also minted are bullion (including gold, silver and platinum) and commemorative coins. All of these are produced by the United States Mint. The coins are then sold to Federal Reserve Banks which in turn are responsible for putting coins into circulation and withdrawing them as demanded by the country's economy.

Nickel Coin Penny Dollar coin Dime
Silver coin

Silver coins are possibly the oldest mass-produced form of coinage. Silver has been used as a coinage metal since the times of the Greeks; their silver drachmas were popular trade coins. The ancient Persians used silver coins between 612-330 BC. Before 1797, British pennies were made of silver.

As with all collectible coins, many factors determine the value of a silver coin, such as its rarity, demand, condition and the number originally minted. Ancient silver coins coveted by collectors include the Denarius and Miliarense, while more recent collectible silver coins include the Morgan Dollar and the Spanish Milled Dollar.

Coin roll hunting (often abbreviated "CRH") is the hobby of searching and sorting coinage pulled from circulation for collectible coins. This is achieved through obtaining rolled coin, boxed coin, or bagged coin from banks and credit unions. In the United States, coin roll hunters obtain rolls of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and sometimes dollar coins.

Junk silver

Junk silver is an informal term used in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia for any silver coin which is in fair condition and has no numismatic or collectible value above the bullion value of the silver it contains. Such coins are popular among people seeking to invest in silver, particularly in small amounts. The word "junk" refers only to the value of the coins as collectibles and not to the actual condition of the coins; junk silver is not necessarily scrap silver.

Precious metals including silver are measured in troy ounces (ozt). A spot price for silver is the price for a troy ounce of silver which is 99.9-percent pure, or 999 fine. Silver coins including junk-silver coins have set silver-alloy contents ranging from 35-percent to 90-percent or more. The term "coin silver," for example, refers to 90-percent silver alloy which was the most common alloy used to mint silver U.S. coins.


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