copper pennies weigh $1.45 per pound = 95% pure
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Is My Penny Solid Copper?
If your Lincoln Memorial penny has a date before 1982, it is made of 95% copper. If the date is 1983 or later, it is made of 97.5% zinc and plated with a thin copper coating.
For pennies dated 1982, when both copper and zinc cents were made, the safest and best way to determine their composition is to weigh them. Solid copper pennies weigh 3.11 grams (+/- 0.130 g.), whereas the copper plated zinc pennies weigh only 2.5 grams (+/- 0.100 g.).
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