last updated on : 03.01.2011 - Select Items Listed Your Satisfaction And Value Guaranteed
Select Items Listed Your Satisfaction And Value Guaranteed - silysavg motto Site Search
Copyright:  Mike Sillett


1. Intro
2. Tools
3. Materials
4. Procedure / technique

Photo of a pile of copper pennies and zinc penniesLeft - Copper pennies = 3.11 grams each - 146 pennies per pound..
Right - Zinc pennies = 2.5 grams each - 181 pennies per pound.

1. Intro

In my 'Write-up' - 'At Home Copper Mining For Fun and Profit' - I went into the rewards that can be gleaned from sorting copper pennies from zinc pennies currently in circulation. If penny sorting is done in a small scale, such as the $1.00 per day stashing described in that article, you will have many zinc pennies to rid yourself of but not an overwhelming amount that the professional sorters accumulate.

As noted in that article the percentage of copper penny finds per penny roll purchased at banks is approximately 34%.
If the goal of stashing $1.00 per day of copper pennies is adhered to you will be sorting slighly less than 6 rolls of pennies ( $3.00 ) daily to get 2 rolls ( $1.00 ) of copper pennies.
Although the sorting of 6 rolls takes about 1/2 hour with a simple 'Penny Sorter' on hand, such as is desribed in - 'SIMPLE BUT ACCURATE COPPER PENNY SORTER ', that still computes to the fact that for every penny sorting session you will have 4 rolls ( $2.00 ) of zinc pennies to rid yourself of / convert to more usable cash.

2. Tools

Plastic coin containers ( the type with the screw on caps - see photo below )

3. Materials

Penny rollers.
Container ( to hold some rolled up zinc pennies in the car for spending purposes )

Photo of a zinc penny spending parts. A container to keep rolls of pennies in for the car and a screw cap coin tube for the pocket.

My zinc penny spending parts.
A container for the car to keep rolls of zinc pennies in. A plastic coin tube for pennies with a screw-on cap for the pocket.

4. Procedure / Options:

A. Spend Them Regularly:

I keep a coin tube that has a screw-on cap like in the photo above. Such tubes can be purchased in different sizes and are sold in coin collecting shops or hobby stores. Mine is for pennies and holds 50. When I pay for something and it is possible to use some cents it comes out of the pocket and a few cents are slid out. Very convenient.
When it gets low I replenish with pennies from those in rolls in the Scott Tissue container kept under the driver's seat.

~~~~~~~Use your pocket change in such a way as to maximize ridding yourself of zinc pennies. If something cost $1.18 get into the habit of paying the cents portion in zinc pennies. In this case counting out 18 cents is not such a burden.
Keeping a penny tube handy makes it easy to use just the zinc pennies - otherwise you will be taking a lot of time sorting through various penny types in your pocket change. Try it - you will like it !
~~~~~~~If you patronize the Post Office on a regular basis use a couple of penny rolls to purchase 'Forever Stamps'. That way you are investing bad zinc pennies to purchase U.S. Postage that you will use anyway and which, when postage rises in price, which it will, you will be covered already by the non-price-rising Forever Stamp.
~~~~~~~Since the penny sorting time is usually in the winter, at least it is for me, I usually put some aside to throw into the Salvation Army kettle during the holiday season. Just slip a roll or two into kettle every now and then.

B. Bank:
~~~~~~~If the bank you have an account with is a regular stop for other business activities anyway, get in the habit of depositing some zinc pennies into your account. You will have to roll them up in penny rollers though unless your bank has a coin counting service / machine.
Start a Christmas Club type account and you will be doing two things - putting some money aside, like you should anyway, for those loved ones AND ridding yourself of zinc pennies. Just make sure that the bank you deposit pennies at is not the same bank where you buy your penny rolls from.
A trip to the bank for anything at all should always include the depositing of some money ( zinc pennies ) into one of your accounts.

C. Coinstar

Screenshot of Coinstar free coin counting service.

~~~~~~~Found at the front end of hundreds of grocery stores. They have automatic coin sorting machines with or without fees. The no fee option is appropriate to individuals who elect an eCerticate or Gift Card from a participating Merchant. If you choose that option you can cash in all your change with no fee to pay.
I like the Lowe's Gift Card option because I can use the Gift Card there to buy certain items that I buy at the grocery store anyway.
My wife uses Swiffer Dry Clothes. Paper towels, toilet paper and light bulbs are regular goods that come to mind.
~~~~~~~Other merchants are listed to choose from, such as, Stop & Shop, CVS Pharmacy, etc., etc.
~~~~~~~ Coinstar is a great relief valve if you find yourself getting way behind in the zinc penny spending process.
For example, let's say you let twenty days go by and have not spent any zinc pennies that accumulated during those 20 days of penny sorting. You will have accumulated the equivalent of approximately 80 rolls ( $40.00 ) of zinc pennies ( 27 pounds ). You won't be able to spend them during normal daily activities.
Take them to Coinstar after you decide what you want to buy and get the appropriate eCerticate or Gift Card option that applies to the merchant. If you need a Viagra prescription filled get a CVS Pharmacy Gift Card or eCert. Need some Tomato Plants to start your garden get a Lowe's Gift Card or eCert.

D. Penny Arcade
A coin counting service free to account holders of TD Bank. A fee to non-account holders. Penny Arcade's are coin counting machines inside the Bank that can be used to rid yourself of those zinc pennies.
Per TD Bank ( ) :

Penny Arcade®


Make Every Penny Count and Customers count them for FREE!

There is a fee for non-Customers. Become a Customer today and count your coins for FREE!

  • Penny Arcades are being installed in select locations. To find the Penny Arcade nearest you, visit our ATM/Store Locator.
  • Simply drop your coins into the Penny Arcade and take your receipt to a teller for cash or deposit into your account.
  • And, if you have an unusually large amount of coins, just drop them off during lobby hours and your account will be credited within 5 business days.

With the available options of ridding yourself of excess zinc pennies or converting them to more usable cash you will likely wish to really get into penny sorting in a big way. Good to look into it further now that you know that you won't get stuck with all those zinc pennies.

Start hoarding those copper pennies now because in a few years there won't be too many left to reap.
My stash is kept in empty 20 ounce Pepsi bottles. I can get 8 pounds of copper pennies in them comfortably and they are not overly heavy to move about. They don't break and they are water tight.

Photo of a 20 ounce Pepsi bottle filled with copper pennies - 8 pounds.

Some of the other coins found in Penny Rolls on occasion.


Feel free to copy the information for your own use.

If you refer to these contents on your website I would appreciate that you link:

If you believe the information was useful/helpful and wish to donate, the Paypal button will allow that, in any amount.
Even a dollar would be helpful to defray the cost of operating this website.

Start Over | Back to Tutorials Previews | Home