If you look hard enough and have the right information at hand about what coins are rare and collectible, you can strike it rich, as they say. That is what a recent article had to say about a coin collector that wishes to remain anonymous, who had found a very rare 1983 copper-alloy cent.
The woman said that she found this coin after purchasing a book called “Strike it rich with pocket change” that was co-authored by Ken Potter and Brian Allen. She found the rare copper one cent coin after reading the author’s account of how a man named Billy Crawford of South Carolina found one of these. He had separated all of his pennies from 1983 and began looking for a double die coin and other types. During his search for something else, he stumbled onto his find.
The cents struck from 1963 through about mid 1982 are of a solid brass composition made up of 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc. They weigh 3.11 grams. The cents struck from about mid 1982 to date are struck on planchets made up of a solid zinc core (with a trace of copper) that are barrel plated with pure copper and weigh 2.5 grams. Crawford hoped that his efforts would result in him finding a transitional error of a 1983 cent struck on a planchet left over from the early part of 1982 before the copper plated zinc cents were introduced later in that same year.
Eventually he found one and we detailed his story on the find on Page 64 of the second edition and on Page 75 in the third edition of our book. In our book we placed a possible value of $15,000 on an AU/Unc. example but it was just a guess. The owner now has this coin slated for sale in an upcoming Heritage auction, so we’ll see how this one goes and report on the result. This story has been unfolding for a while. The finder of this second example first contacted me Aug. 6, 2010
So, if you are a collector and are willing to spend the time searching and sorting through your pocket change and perhaps some coin rolls, you could possibly be the next lucky person to find a coin that has substantial collector value. As the author stated in the conclusion of the article, it will definitely repay the owner many times over for the cost of the book. Pick yourself up a copy of this book and you may never look at pocket change the same way again.