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1984 "Silver" Color Cent

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it could also be plated... you would need to weigh it to be sure.

I weighed it and it was right on for a 1982 to present, 2.5 grams. Wish I had a scale that went to hundreadths. I asked this question on another site as well but figure I could get some feed back here as well. How is the planchet made in the first place? Is it dipped in copper? Electroplated? Zinc sandwhiched between copper? Thanks for answering what seems sort of dumb to ask but my curiosity gets the best of me. shane

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  • 1 month later...

I'll toss my hat in the guessing ring...


I believe this to be a coin without the copper plating. Reason - the roughness of the rim at 12 o'clock on the obverse suggests bare zinc, not extra metal. Moreover, the lighting in the photo does provide a hint of luster on the upper reverse, which would have been covered completely even with the lightest of electroplate.


So..to answer a couple of questions posed here...


A zinc cent weighs in at 2.5 grams. The composition of a 1984 zinc cent is 100% zinc core with a plating of pure copper. The overall weight distribution is 97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper. The weight of an unplated 1984 zinc cent should be around 2.43 grams. A flea or errant eyelash could make up half the difference.


Zinc cents come to the mint in prepunched blanks - zinc blanks, that is. They get their copper bath after the upset mill raises their edges for striking. So they start as zinc rounds, become zinc planchets, then become copper coated zinc planchets, then become coins.


Something interesting to note about the Lincoln cent that few people know, and even fewer bothered to properly document...the composition changes of the Lincoln cent, properly laid out, are as follows:


1909-1942: 95% copper, 5% mix of tin and zinc. Commonly called "French Bronze"

1943: Until May, zinc plated steel, overall weight - 41.5 grains.

1943: From May, zinc plated steel, overall weight - 42.4 grains.

1944-1947: Shellcase bronze, 95% copper, 5% zinc with traces of sulphur, carbon, etc.

1947-1962: French Bronze again, 95% copper, 5% mix of tin and zinc.

1962-1982: Brass - 95% copper, 5% zinc.

1982-1984: 100% zinc plated in 100% copper.

1985-present: 100% zinc with traces of copper in the core plated in 100% copper.

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