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Which U.S. Coin Has Absolutely No Copper in it?


Question: Which U.S. Coin Has Absolutely No Copper in it?
Every single U.S. coin ever struck by the U.S. Mint for general circulation has some amount of copper in it, except one. Which coin has no copper in the alloy?
Answer: First of all, let's be clear about the question. We are referring to U.S. coins that have been struck by the U.S. Mint for general circulation, so that rules out any bullion coins, such as the Silver Eagles (99.93% silver) and the Gold Eagle series (91.67% gold). Actually, though both of these coins do have small amounts of copper in them (0.07% and 5.33% respectively.) The other coins we can rule out are pre-federal issues, such as colonial coins (although a goodly number of them had high amounts of copper.)

During the U.S. Mint's issuing of normal circulation coinage, every coin (except one) had at least a little bit of copper in it. Even coins such as the Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars have a little bit of copper (90% silver, 10% copper.) The circulating gold coins have some copper, too (ranging from 8.5% to 10%.) You can also rule out Nickels (which are actually 75% copper!) There is 10% copper in the pre-1965 Dimes, Quarters and Half Dollars, and the Cent, of course, was mostly copper until 1982 when it became a copper and (mostly) zinc mixture.

Think about the pennies again for a minute, though... Were all U.S. Pennies made with some copper? It turns out that the only U.S. coin made for circulation that has no copper in it at all is the 1943 Steel Wartime Cent! Did you answer this trivia question correctly?

Would you like to challenge your fellow coin collectors with a trivia question? Send your question, (along with the answer, please,) to coins@aboutguide.com and maybe I'll post it to the Web site here for everyone to try.
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