How much is a 1982 small date copper penny worth?

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In the world of numismatics, where the allure of rare and valuable coins captivates collectors and enthusiasts alike, the journey to discover the worth of a single coin can lead down a path of intrigue and fascination. Among the many coins that have piqued the curiosity of numismatists, the 1982 small date copper penny holds a special place. This unassuming coin, seemingly ordinary at first glance, hides a secret that could potentially make it a highly sought-after treasure. In this captivating exploration, we will delve into the depths of history, examine the characteristics that make this penny unique, and shed light on the value it holds in today’s market.

How much is a 1982 small date copper penny worth?

The Unraveling of History: The Context of the 1982 Small Date Copper Penny

Behind every coin lies a rich tapestry of historical context, and the 1982 small date copper penny is no exception. This subheading takes us on a captivating journey through the era when this intriguing coin was minted, shedding light on the factors that shaped its creation.

In the early 1980s, the United States faced a pivotal juncture in its monetary history. Soaring inflation rates and rising metal prices prompted the U.S. Mint to reevaluate the composition of its coinage. In an effort to reduce costs, the traditional copper-alloy composition was replaced with a zinc core coated in copper. This marked the transition from the 95% copper, 5% zinc composition used for pennies since 1837 to a new 97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper composition. However, a fascinating anomaly emerged during this transitional phase, resulting in the creation of a small number of copper pennies.

The U.S. Mint inadvertently produced a limited quantity of pennies with a composition contrary to the intended change. These unique small date copper pennies, struck in 1982, became the embodiment of numismatic intrigue. Their scarcity, combined with their distinctive features, adds to their mystique and elevates their desirability among collectors.

Decoding the Characteristics: Identifying the 1982 Small Date Copper Penny

In the realm of numismatics, discerning the true worth of a coin relies heavily on identifying its distinct characteristics. This subheading uncovers the defining features of the 1982 small date copper penny, providing a roadmap for collectors and enthusiasts to recognize its elusive presence.

The small date variety of the 1982 copper penny can be identified through careful observation. Unlike the larger date variant, the digits in the date are noticeably smaller and more tightly spaced. To distinguish the copper version from the more common zinc-coated variety, one can examine the weight, color, and magnetic properties of the coin.

The copper penny weighs approximately 3.11 grams, slightly heavier than its zinc counterpart due to the higher density of copper. Additionally, the coloration of the copper penny has a distinct reddish hue, in contrast to the zinc-coated pennies that display a more muted, gray appearance. Using a magnet, one can further verify the authenticity of the copper penny, as it will not exhibit any magnetic attraction, unlike the zinc-coated versions. Armed with this knowledge, collectors can embark on the thrilling quest to uncover the elusive 1982 small date copper penny and claim it as a prized possession.

The Enigma of Value: Evaluating the Worth of the 1982 Small Date Copper Penny

As the plot thickens, we arrive at the pinnacle of our exploration: determining the value of the 1982 small date copper penny. This subheading unravels the intricate web of factors that contribute to its worth, examining the nuances that can elevate this humble coin to astonishing heights.

The value of the 1982 small date copper penny depends on various aspects, such as rarity, condition, and demand. The scarcity of this coin is a key driver of its value. Estimates suggest that only a fraction of the total 1982 pennies produced were of the small date copper variety, making them considerably rarer than their zinc counterparts. Additionally, the condition of the coin plays a significant role in determining its value, with well-preserved specimens commanding higher prices in the market.

The demand for the 1982 small date copper penny stems from the curiosity and enthusiasm of collectors who seek to complete their collections or add unique pieces to their portfolios. Auctions, coin shows, and online marketplaces serve as platforms for enthusiasts to exchange these rare gems, with prices varying depending on the level of interest and competition among buyers.


In conclusion, the 1982 small date copper penny is a coin that transcends its monetary value. It represents a convergence of history, error, rarity, and the unyielding pursuit of numismatic excellence. Whether one admires it for its aesthetic appeal, views it as a tangible investment, or revels in the thrill of the hunt, this coin captures the imagination and stirs the hearts of those who delve into its remarkable tale. The enigmatic worth of the 1982 small date copper penny continues to captivate collectors, forever leaving us in awe of the hidden treasures that lie within the realm of numismatics.

How much is a 1982 small date copper penny worth?
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