May 16, 2012, 12:02 AM
Copper or Silver? Pennies or Dimes?
After reading the various penny posts over the last few days, I've been mulling the idea of building a decent size copper position.
Here's my reasoning:
Each box of pennies I've CRHed has had about 20% copper (I have 1 copper box after 5 CRHed), which is roughly $5 in face, with a melt value of $11.75, leaving an unrecognized profit of $6.75 per box. I don't have tons of time to devote to CRH, so I've been concentrating on dimes to build a silver collection. So far, after 5 boxes, I've pulled approx. 2 dimes per box, worth roughly $4 total in melt, and about as much in unrecognized profit. It really seems like the best value, from a pure long-term profit standpoint, is pennies.
And therein lies the rub: realizing the profit of sorting the copper. The US would have to abolish the penny, or at least make it legal to melt them. Or I would have to make friends with an unscrupulous scrap dealer. Copper also ties up more in funds. As mine are limited, this is not inconsequential. $20 in dimes ties up $1 in face. $20 in pennies ties up $8+ in face. That can add up quick, especially with as easily as copper can be sorted. If I had a buyer, I could just as easily sort and sell the copper, and buy silver with it, which would yield more than if I just CRHed silver. But I don't have a buyer.
Thoughts? Are there other things I'm not taking into consideration? I'm still going to CRH for wheaties and funny money; but I'm trying to decide weather I should put most of my energy into dimes, or into pennies. Both take roughly the same amount of time for me to sort, which I do in my limited spare time (when class is in session). Any input is appreciated. I'm still trying to figure all this stuff out.
2012 CRH to Date:
2 Boxes of Halfs: Zilch.
2 Boxes of Quarters: 1 Canadian (non-silver)
6 Boxes of Dimes. 9 Roos, 2 Mercs, 1 Silver Canadian, 1 Portuguese 10 Centavos
5 Boxes of Pennies: 71 Wheats, 28 Canadian, 1 Bahama, 1 Planchet, 45 Rolls of Copper
Random Rolls (unknown qty): 1 Roos, 1 SLQ, 1 Buf
May 16, 2012 12:02 AM
May 16, 2012, 12:54 AM
If you want to know what i think the hell with pennies. I did them be for i knew better. I have ?? 100 lbs NOW WHAT!! A lot of time and room. But to each his own. If you find any silver what do you have?? Cash right away!!
May 16, 2012, 12:59 AM
Neither are going to yield any substantial profit, unless of course you are finding a large quantity of silver dimes (more than what you're finding.) I've done the same thing with pennies, took 4-6 boxes and made a $25FV box of copper. It took me a stupid amount of time to complete and in the end came up on $25 in profit. The ****er is still sitting in my closest to this day. If you want to sell your hand sorted copper pennies I would say craigslist is your best bet. It's not worth it to sell on ebay with all of the fees unless you are running a big penny sorting operation like a few people do. Copper pennies are selling for their bullion value right now, but if the law changes then everyone can cash in. Pennies are great to hunt for fun, collecting type ****. Hope this helps!
May 16, 2012, 07:24 AM
gotta agree... pennies just not worth the time. Maybe if you did it large scale with a sorter, but then you have the cost of the machine too to cover before you profit. I just finished wrapping the last roll on a $25 box and still have 3/4 container of unrolled 95%'ers. Honestly, I can make multiples more money by finding and listing stuff on Craigslist from my attic, or hunting CL for things to sell on eBay. You only have a limited # of hours in a day, and your life. Why take a job for minimum wage if you can get paid more?
The human race evolved by working smarter, not harder. If you like pennies as a collector thing or whatever, by all means, go for it. But for profit? Unless you're going to hoard for the next 10-20 years and hope - HOPE - for a spike in copper (possible but unlikely), I just dont see it. Ill be dumping the coppers back into the wild today, and keep the box with my massive store of nickels (also held in case they're ever meltable)
2011 Silver totals:
Franklin - 1
Walkers - 5
1964 - 6
1965 - 2
1966 - 2
1967 - 3
1968 - 6
1969 - 5
Silver Quarters- 30
Silver Rosies- 21
Mercs - 1
Canadian Silver - '63 dime
Wheaties - 127
Canadian - $46.83
Euros - $11.50
Pounds - $12.70
May 16, 2012, 08:23 AM
IF the U.S. ever scraps the penny law, the market will be flooded with copper and prices will drop. I believe holding copper is a very long proposition to see decent returns. If the law changes tomorrow, copper will lose alot of value. If the law changes in 5 years, and copper continues to appreciate in value to something like $5/lb, prices will end up dropping to today's prices (or something like that) and maybe you can cash out at the profits your thinking.
I think it is pretty risky to hold something that is only worth face value today - and may never be legal to be worth more. I tried to sort a few boxes of copper, and then dumped it because I didn't want my CRH $ tied up.
Then again - if the poop ever really hits the fan - any precious metal will have tremendous value.
Last edited by Mr. Silver Stash; May 16, 2012 at 04:46 PM.
May 16, 2012, 08:35 AM
Copper is a super long term investment, might as well sort some and stash it. I do a box of pennies every now and then, but it takes longer for me to sort of box of pennies because i check the dates and for errors. It's much easier to rip open a dime roll and check the side. Still if you know what you're looking for you might be able to find some valuable penny errors. Also hoarding wheats is fun
May 16, 2012, 11:05 AM
I had a good thing goin' there for a while. I was selling pennies for two times face and buying silver with the profits. Alas, my buyer isn't buying at this time. I'll still sort and hoard pennies but at a slower rate. I do enjoy lookin' for wheats and oddities and things that I need for my two Danscos. All I'm doin' is moving money from my savings, which is drawing almost no interest, to copper which at least has the potential to appreciate in value. If interest rates increase substanially I can always deposit the pennies back into my savings.
Last edited by usandthem; May 16, 2012 at 03:01 PM.
"Hello from deep within the copper mines of Western Kentucky."
May 16, 2012, 02:44 PM
OCD Coin Hunter
I haven't taken the plunge yet on penny sorting, but one thing to keep in mind is that if you take care of it you could probably sell a Ryedale used on eBay and recoup a large chunk of your cost on the machine after you have had your fill of penny sorting. If I ever decided to get serious about penny sorting that is probably what I'll do. I did one box of pennies by hand and it took way too long to be worthwhile to me.
May 16, 2012, 05:35 PM
If time is your biggest limiting factor to doing both stick with dimes. You can search a box of dimes looking at the rim way faster than examining the face of every single penny.
May 19, 2012, 07:14 AM
I'm a little bit partial to pennies because the silver in my area seems to have shut off. I have built my own sorter with reclaimed slot machine parts, old cell phone chargers and other odds and ends. By the time I get my sorter all decked out I will probably have $100 invested in it. No, its not a Ryedale by any means, but it works and working on it and developing it has been a lot of fun that works in conjunction with sorting pennies.
For me its not about the short term gain, its about the chance that copper could take off in the future, and I really enjoy doing it. Pennies seem to get a bad rap around here mostly from the fact that you can't really do anything with them right now and they are so easily accessible - any schmo can gather a few pounds of copper cents with relative ease. My thoughts are along the lines that back in the 1960's not too many people thought silver would ever be worth much, those who thought a little outside the box would have made a killing if they had stockpiled silver coins. Do I think copper pennies will make me rich? Not a chance. But it would be pretty cool if I can sell my horde when I'm 70 for 10 to 25 cents a piece!
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