What Are American Coins Made Of?

The so-called copper penny is not pure copper, and the nickel is not pure nickel!

A United States penny is 95 percent copper and five percent zinc. A nickel is three- quarters copper and only one- quarter nickel. The dime, quarter, half-dollar, and dollar coins that are minted today do not contain silver.

They are made of a copper core covered with a layer of metal containing three-quarters copper and one-quarter nickel.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

1 thought on “What Are American Coins Made Of?”

  1. Pennies are actually mostly zinc these days, scrape the edge of a penny across a sidewalk to see the silvery color inside. Since politicians have caused gross inflation by printing money that isn’t backed by anything (to buy votes), actual copper is far too expensive to use in pennies. The same reason is why they put a copper core into dimes and quarters instead of silver.

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