Coin Collecting Guide for Beginners Logo
Coin Collecting a Guide for Beginners Header

What are coins made of?

by Tiffany

Question: What material(s) are US coins (penny, nickels, dimes, etc.) made from? I think I once heard coins from the 60's,(different time periods) had more silver in them.

My Answer: What you heard was correct. It was the Coinage Act of 1965 that changed the composition of United States silver coins. The silver content was lowered because the price of silver had risen above the face value of the coins.

You can read in more detail about the silver content of U.S. coins over time on my US Silver Coins page.

Pennies met the same fate because of the rising cost of copper. Early US pennies were made of 100% copper, but since 1982 they have been made of copper-plated zinc (core: 99.2% zinc , .8% copper, with a plating of pure copper; total content .975 zinc, .025 copper).

Feel free to browse the different US Coins if you are curious about the composition of different coins throughout history.

Comments for What are coins made of?

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 07, 2010
What a great question!!
by: Eva - Moderator

Thank you for the question Tiffany. I am sure a lot of other people were also curious about what coins are made of. I hope you found my answer helpful. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Coin Collecting FAQ.

Return to Coin Collecting Guide for Beginners Home

Or Choose a New Topic to Explore
From the Menu on the Left

Site Build It!

Copyright© 2008-2009

Template Design