About a year ago my bud Silviu got a job with the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). This really turned him on (haha) to the importance of copper to the electrical field and industry in general. He has always been interested in numismatics. So when we combine his newfound understanding for the importance of copper with his love for coins and combine this with his natural dragon hoarding instincts what do we get? Genius. Doing some research on his silver collection one day he comes across http://www.coinflation.com/. A very useful website to determine the amount of value of the metal in our coins. Now being the bright man that he is. He takes a gander at their page and spots something interesting. The price of copper in a penny from 1982 and prior is 3 around 3 cents. Thats a 300% return on your investment. Not too many investments can match that return. Now we are guaranteed to always get at least .01 for our penny's, or at least we will have slightly bigger problems on our hands than valueless penny's if the SHTF. So combining the instant 300% return with the inherent stability with money issued by our government what do we have here? Opportunity. What does Silviu do when his dragon senses are tingling? He tells his best friend Jake about it thats what. What was my response? Skepticism. At first this sounded like another somewhat farfetched plan. After days of nagging conversations and phone calls, carefully substantiated by some independent research, I agreed that he was a genius. What follows is our adventures in penny hoarding. We first did some web searching and came up with some good sites like http://www.realcent.org/. It seems that there are quite a few people doing this already. Real cent is a great resource for this topic. What we found in our internet wanderings is that there are a few ways to go about this. So as to ease ourselves into it we decided to hand sort. Off to the bank we go! We went to two different banks locally. Community Bank and Trust and Wells Fargo. We both had agreed beforehand to buy 25$ worth of pennies a piece. I also decided to buy some Kennedy halves, but thats different story for a different day. Silviu went to CBT and I went to Wells Fargo. We eagerly rushed home with our boxes in hand and our dragon senses tingling! We quickly donned our gloves and got to sorting. My method was to open the rolls one at a time and sort that roll individually by sliding it into the corners of a plastic container. When I was done with the roll I put the coppers, zincs, and Wheaties into their own ziplock bags. I had read that the usual percentage of coppers to zinc pennies is somewhere between 20-30% depending on the quality of the batch you get and then This quickly became apparent in my box. What quickly became apparent in Silviu's box was... that he got lucky. Out of the entire box of 25$ he got something like .49 in zincs and the rest coppers and wheaties. This resulted in much gloating over the next few hours. My results were much less impressive. I came in with 8.66 lb of post 82's, .44 lb of wheaties, and 3.20 lb of 82's and priors. These results really got the dragon inside of us rumbling. We soon found ourselves addicted to sorting pennies. What do guys like us do when we get addicted to something? Spend 550$ on a piece of machinery, thats what! Thats worthy of a write up all by itself though. All in all we concluded that hand sorting is way too much work for too little return. Stay tuned for our solution next time.