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I have a 1942 S Wheat Penny (Steel). I had an XRF analysis completed on it and the results are it is 50% Copper, 35 % Nickel, and other elements. I have not found anything about this coin and research only eludes to Judd 2080 or 2081. I cannot find a record of such a penny. Any ideas or suggestions?

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  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 6, 2020 1:09PM

    50% Copper and 35% Nickel is not steel. Steel is made of Iron. it is magnetic.

    people more familiar with patterns can comment if any would bear the S mintmark ... but

    Judd 2080 - https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1942-1c-j-2080-lincoln-zinc-coated-steel/12218
    minted in Philadelphia

    Judd 2081 - https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1942-1c-j-2081-lincoln-white-metal/12219
    minted in philadelphia

    if anyone in PCGS is reading this. it says "white metal" but the picture is of a Brown Cent.

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    please post photos of both sides.

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • How do I upload pics here?

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 30,310 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why isn't it just a plated wheat cent that someone messed around with? I've seen all kinds of plated wheat cents that were used as good luck pieces in jewelry.

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 8,699 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Pictures please.
    Jim


    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cbonilla... Welcome aboard.... Pictures are really necessary to help with your question. Also the weight of the coin would be informative. Cheers, RickO



  • Here they are. Sorry for the delay.

  • Weight is 3.11 Grams/48 Grains.

  • Fred, can you elaborate on how that's accomplished for this coin to be 50% copper and 35% nickel? Additionally a PCGS Authorized Dealer deemed it to be authentic?

  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    50% + 35% is not 100%
    Steel is made from iron, not copper, not nickel
    Steel is magnetic

    @FredWeinberg said:

    The nickel composition is from the plating.

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • FredWeinbergFredWeinberg Posts: 5,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    .....and did a PCGS Authorized deal deemed to be be an
    authentic cent plated, or an authentic error?

    If they deemed it to be an authentic error coin, they're mistaken,.

    Retired Collector & Dealer in Major Mint Error Coins & Currency since the 1960's.Co-Author of Whitman's "100 Greatest U.S. Mint Error Coins", and the Error Coin Encyclopedia, Vols., III & IV. Retired Authenticator for Major Mint Errors
    for PCGS. A 49+-Year PNG Member...A full numismatist since 1972, retired in 2022
  • ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 7,998 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Many times an item is plated with copper first so the nickel or chrome will stick better. ;)

  • He did not state either and strongly recommended to submit for grading. Could you please educate me and appreciate your input. Say it did get mixed up with the 1943's would it retain the normal weight of 3.1 grams? Should it not weigh more? Additionally, should it be an authentic cent plated; what does that mean for value?

  • FredWeinbergFredWeinberg Posts: 5,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sometimes the plating will add up to .1 or so of a gram,
    and sometimes the plating doesn't add to the weight at all.

    It's a genuine 1942-S Copper Cent that has been plated,
    well after the coin was already in circulation. It did not
    leave the US Mint like that.

    Retired Collector & Dealer in Major Mint Error Coins & Currency since the 1960's.Co-Author of Whitman's "100 Greatest U.S. Mint Error Coins", and the Error Coin Encyclopedia, Vols., III & IV. Retired Authenticator for Major Mint Errors
    for PCGS. A 49+-Year PNG Member...A full numismatist since 1972, retired in 2022
  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,170 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Plated was my first thought, too.

  • ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 7,998 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are many things that can make a coin appear different.
    This cent is not plated, high heat did it.

  • MsMorrisine: Here is a breakdown of all of the elements as indicated by the XRF Analysis: Chromium (Cr .08), Iron (Fe 1.16), Cobalt (Co .44), Nickel (Ni 36.6), Copper (Cu 50.1), Tantalum (Ta 9.59), Rehnium ( Re .60), Lead (Pb .09), Zirconium ( Zr .23), Molybdenum (Mo ,01) and Tin (Sn .95).

  • Given all of this, would you guys recommend getting it graded?

  • ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 7,998 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cbonilla said:
    Given all of this, would you guys recommend getting it graded?

    Not unless you want to spend a bunch of money to be told what you have been told here. ;)

  • airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,756 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cbonilla said:
    Given all of this, would you guys recommend getting it graded?

    Given everyone has said it's post-mint damage, I think we would all recommend you not spend $100 to have the coin come back still worth 1 cent.

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,717 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cbonilla said:
    He did not state either and strongly recommended to submit for grading. Could you please educate me and appreciate your input. Say it did get mixed up with the 1943's would it retain the normal weight of 3.1 grams? Should it not weigh more? Additionally, should it be an authentic cent plated; what does that mean for value?

    Submit it for grading and authentication. It will teach you an expensive lesson.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 7,998 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You were not there at the time when someone did whatever they did to it and neither were we.
    We can't tell you how it was done but we can tell you it did not come from the mint that way.
    The gold nickel has no gold in or on it. ;)
    Many things in life are not as they would appear to be.

  • OldEastsideOldEastside Posts: 4,602 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cbonilla said:
    Given all of this, would you guys recommend getting it graded?

    I can't speak for everyone...........BUT NO, I WOULD NOT HAVE IT GRADED

    Steve

    Promote the Hobby
  • FredWeinbergFredWeinberg Posts: 5,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We're all trying to save you $75-$100.

    You still don't understand that it's now a
    damaged/altered surface coin, and is
    worth 1 cent only - face value.

    However, yes, submit it to PCGS if you're
    still not understanding what we've all been
    telling you ....and post the results please.

    Retired Collector & Dealer in Major Mint Error Coins & Currency since the 1960's.Co-Author of Whitman's "100 Greatest U.S. Mint Error Coins", and the Error Coin Encyclopedia, Vols., III & IV. Retired Authenticator for Major Mint Errors
    for PCGS. A 49+-Year PNG Member...A full numismatist since 1972, retired in 2022


  • Don't get me wrong; I appreciate all of your input-and I asked for it. I will keep you posted on decision. This information gives me more to ponder. Thank you. What do you guys think about this one?

  • OldhoopsterOldhoopster Posts: 2,930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    X-rays in handheld XRF units penetrate well below the surface of a coin. What you’re seeing on the readout is the Nickel from the thin plated layer and the Copper underneath.

    Plating cents was a common HS chemistry experiment. The student not only learned about electrochemistry, they also got to take the experiment home. Eventually, many of these coins entered circulation, only to found by a collector thinking it may be something special.

    Member of the ANA since 1982
  • ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 7,998 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 10, 2020 10:57AM

    Last Friday 11/6 I went to a major bullion dealer to turn in some stuff. I turned in four 2002 proof gold AGE's a tenth, a quarter, a half & a one ounce. They had a newer employee that did not know me, he said "I have to test them." They put the 1 oz on the x-ray/xrf unit and there was no problem, the other 3 coins came back with a funny reading and he wanted to do further tests. I was not able to see what the reading was but he said the metal content was wrong. I told him he was not going to do "further tests" on a proof coin and to go get the owner. The owner knows me and looked at the coins and told him "just take them" and we will have our unit checked. Readings from these machines are not always 100%. ;)

  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    there is a easy thing to test. you suspect it is steel. steel is magnetic. is that coin magnetic?

    also, I'll second what what said about that second cent from 1951 has clear glue on the back and has been cleaned to death.

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • OldhoopsterOldhoopster Posts: 2,930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MsMorrisine said:
    there is a easy thing to test. you suspect it is steel. steel is magnetic. is that coin magnetic?

    also, I'll second what what said about that second cent from 1951 has clear glue on the back and has been cleaned to death.

    Nickel plating is also magnetic.

    Member of the ANA since 1982
  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    nickel is magnetic but the plating on that is thin enough that the weight of the cent will pull it off a magnet.

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • It is partially magnetic and how/why would someone use rare elements to make a coin?

  • I am partially being rhetorical on asking why? But entertaining ideas.

  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 11, 2020 12:11PM

    gotta be int the alloy used to plate.

    it's also got a tiny amount of iron.

    soft steel is over 99.5% Iron. The steel cents were plated with Zinc.

    and xrf should show a large amount of iron and zinc, and it wouldn't be partially magnetic. it'd stick very nicely.

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • FredWeinbergFredWeinberg Posts: 5,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "partially magnetic' = plated - yes, depending on the plating,
    some plated coins are magnetic, and some are just 'partially magnetic.

    Don't know what you mean by 'rare elements' ?

    Copper is cheap, and so is plating material.

    What's the rare element ?

    (I don't think you're getting what we're saying to you )

    Retired Collector & Dealer in Major Mint Error Coins & Currency since the 1960's.Co-Author of Whitman's "100 Greatest U.S. Mint Error Coins", and the Error Coin Encyclopedia, Vols., III & IV. Retired Authenticator for Major Mint Errors
    for PCGS. A 49+-Year PNG Member...A full numismatist since 1972, retired in 2022
  • FYI: three x-ray fluorescence tests were run on coin (Fast Alloy Scan, Alloy Analytical Scan, and a Process Analytical Scan; along with a Spectrum Analysis), four tests in all. The elements found in the coin are as follows (highlighted are the rare elements): Chromium (Cr) .08, Iron (Fe) 1.16, Cobalt (Co) .44, Nickel (Ni) 36.6, Copper (Cu) 50.1, Tantalum (Ta) 9.59, Rhenium (Re) .60, Lead (Pb) .09, Zirconium (Zr) .23, Molybdenum (Mo) .01, Tin (Sn) .95

  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    here is another plated penny picture

    notice the plating has worn off some on the rims


    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 11, 2020 1:49PM

    here is another thread on this forum with another plated cent
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/5779318

    here is another thread with a plated cent
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1001719/1952-d-silver-penny

    a thread somewhere elsse:
    https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=135279

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    plated cent next to a 1943 steel cent

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • Thank you for the pics and ears.

  • One final question? In thinking about these plated coins, let's say we do a composition analysis of said coins. Should we not then get results showing 95% copper and 5% tin/zinc, plus whatever additional compounds are contained within the plating-correct? Sorry, for continuing with this, but having been an investigator for over six years, I have to turn over every rock. :smile: And, it seems I have some extremely knowledgeable/expert individuals, who I would like to bounce ideas off/pick your brains.

  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    the xrays from the xrf analyzer must penetrate the molecular structure of the plating to get to the original cent. some radiation from the plating materials will get returned and some xrays will make it down to the original cent and that radiation returned. So you see a high amount of nickel from the plating and there's the copper from the cent and that almost 10% Tantalum has to be from the plating. The rest is likely from the plating, but could be from the cent. I do note there is no Tin showing despite Zinc showing. So, perhaps the tin is in the plating.

    Analyzing a 1942 cent, I would expect numbers close to 95%, 2.5% and 2.5% but there will be impurities. I have never performed an xrf analysis of a cent so I don't know what impurities to expect.

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • OldhoopsterOldhoopster Posts: 2,930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cbonilla said:
    One final question? In thinking about these plated coins, let's say we do a composition analysis of said coins. Should we not then get results showing 95% copper and 5% tin/zinc, plus whatever additional compounds are contained within the plating-correct? Sorry, for continuing with this, but having been an investigator for over six years, I have to turn over every rock. :smile: And, it seems I have some extremely knowledgeable/expert individuals, who I would like to bounce ideas off/pick your brains.

    It depends on how deep the xrays penetrate below the surface. The deeper it goes, the less plating composition will show up in the analysis.

    Don't forget, handheld XRF units aren't like analytical lab equipment. The algorithm used to calculate the composition isn't as sophisticated. I wouldn't bet on the accuracy of the Ta or Ru or other minor constituents from your report. The photon energy peaks may overlap with other elements, and the software can't accurately differentiate between them.

    If you really believe it is from the mint testing alternate compositions, you might want to investigate the annual mint reports to see if they list any compositional experiments. I believe these may be available on the Newman Numismatic Portal.

    Member of the ANA since 1982
  • jrrgdjrrgd Posts: 38 ✭✭✭

    Found another one. the 1958D on the left in the photo. ran across it last weekend. split second of excitement until i saw the plating chipped off around 2 o'clock...

    I've had the one on the right for a year or two

    :)

  • DallifeDallife Posts: 63 ✭✭

    @FredWeinberg said:
    Again, you are not getting what we're saying.

    Yes, all those metals might be in your tests, but
    they're there because of the plating.

    The coin is a normal copper cent that has been plated.

    Rinse and Repeat please.........

    And, once again I'll make my offer: (again to folks who are
    certain they have a mint error coin)

    I will PAY YOU your submission fees & Postage if the
    coin comes back as ANY kind of error coin.

    So, you have no risk - submit it, and get fully reimbursed -

    Let me know if you'd like to take advantage of me, please

    Has anyone taken advantage of this? Just curious 😁

  • FredWeinbergFredWeinberg Posts: 5,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ve made that offer numerous times before on different platforms and I have yet to have anyone take me up on it

    Retired Collector & Dealer in Major Mint Error Coins & Currency since the 1960's.Co-Author of Whitman's "100 Greatest U.S. Mint Error Coins", and the Error Coin Encyclopedia, Vols., III & IV. Retired Authenticator for Major Mint Errors
    for PCGS. A 49+-Year PNG Member...A full numismatist since 1972, retired in 2022

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