Z is for Zinc.............
This little pile of shiny copper is quite deceiving.
This U.S. coin - the smallest of our denominations - is a penny, and it holds a face value of one cent.
In 1982, the US government changed the composition of this coin which had been made of copper for hundreds of years.
Copper had become a precious metal, and the amount of copper in each penny gave each coin a value of .026 - doubling its value because of its metal weight.
Well, we just couldn't have that - it's not the capitalistic way.
So a new recipe for pennies was born.
They are now made of 97.5% zinc covered with an extra thin 2.5% layer of copper.
These babies are also quite toxic - the amount of zinc in them can be fatal to dogs and we can be poisoned by them if we ingest them.
But of course the amount of metal in them is now worth under .001 of a cent.
And if is anyone is caught trying to sell or export the old, real copper pennies for melt value - there is a $10,000 fine or a vacation in prison.
If you heft one of these guys - they are light as a feather. No solid feeling of a coin in the hand as with the old ones.
Oh well - at least they won't weight heavy in the pocket.
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