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The 1982 Cent has 8 different varieties when taking into consideration date (sm or lrg), mint and composition.

 

Mint being the easiest to decipher, it either has a D (Denver Mint) or an S (San Francisco Mint) under the date or it doesn't (Philadelphia Mint).

 

The small or large date is easy to tell the difference when you know what to look for.

 

See the image here that I used from a previous post by our own syzygy:

 

1982sl0mz.jpg

 

The two things that helped me the most was looking at the distance of the 2 from the rim. It is quite easy once you see a large date and a small date next to each other.

 

The only thing you can't tell by sight is the composition of the coin. If it is a D, Small Date then you know it is Zinc as there is no copper D Large Date. If it is a 1982 S Mint then it is Copper, there were no Zinc S mint Cents in 1982. For the other 6 you will need to go by weight. The easiest way to do this is with a gram scale, but not everyone has access to one or wants to buy one for this.

 

What you want to do is create a Balance. Lay a popsicle stick, tongue depressor or ruler across a pencil. Balance it so that both ends are equal distance from the surface you are working on (its balanced :ninja:). If you are using this for a lot of Cents you may want to tape the stick to the pencil. I used a Ruler as it was easy to find the center (@ 6 inches) and I taped it to the pencil.

 

The Zinc Cents (2.5g) are 20% lighter then the Copper Cents (3.11g).

 

In the following images, the right side of each is a 2005 Cent (Zinc). In this image is a 1982 Zinc Cent vs the 2005 Zinc. You can see they are balanced.

This Second image is a 1982 Copper vs. the 2005 Zinc. You can see that the left side is on the table. The weight difference is literally enough that the 2005 has no chance vs the coppers, they smack straight to the table. The zinc onces wobble back and forth. I thought working with such small weights that there would be some ambiguity, boy was I wrong, this makes it so easy to find the difference.

 

Again because of the small weights I was working with I wondered if there was enough metal in the D to effect it. There was not. A 1982 D Copper and a 1982 Copper balanced.

 

I hope this info is useful to those of you starting out filling a Lincoln Memorial Cent Book. I know when I got to the 1982s I was a bit taken back. But with a little education on them, I can and you will be able to tell the difference quite easily.

 

-Bobby

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Fascinating information!!! I think you've just inspired me to put a set of those together for the heck of it :ninja:

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Again because of the small weights I was working with I wondered if there was enough metal in the D to effect it. There was not. A 1982 D Copper and a 1982 Copper balanced.

 

The design wouldn't actually affect the weight, that'd depend on the planchet (struck coins), or the amount of metal used and filed (cast coins) :ninja:

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The design wouldn't actually affect the weight, that'd depend on the planchet (struck coins), or the amount of metal used and filed (cast coins) :ninja:

 

Good point, I hadnt thought of it that way. Thanks!

 

-Bobby

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