"Where being over the top means being ahead of the curve"
This page is dedicated to teaching you the different types of sorters and what each sorters goals might be, there outlay of cash, and anticipated holdings. This page will show you how its done if you want to do it yourself.
What to look for when sorting pennies:
Below you will find a list of pennies kept by some sorters, please understand that all sorters are different and not all sorters keep everything, some just sort for copper, others just for wheats, and some keep all pennies and sort nothing. Whatever you choose is fine, but hopefully this short and condensed list can help the amateur sorter understand how much is out there.
Any penny before 1982 is kept for its copper value. Somewhere in the middle of 1982 the federal reserve switched the composition of the coin. So, 1982 coins have to be weighed to determine their composition. You cannot tell by looking at them.
Always keep the 1909-1959 wheat pennies. these are easily distinguishable by the 2 big wheat ears on the back, or by date.
Indian head pennies can be found but are very rare in circulated coins, they are before 1910. There are other coins older but the chances of finding them are so rare it is not worth talking about.
Canadian pennies before 1997 are copper and should be kept. some of the older canadians with king george VI and George V are worth a premium like wheats and indians respectively.
Foreign stuff Always keep the foreign stuff, if nothing else to keep in your pile of cool finds, some of it may be worth a premium, if you have the time to research it.
Dimes are actually quite common to find in with pennies, obviously keep these as they are a dime and worth 10 cents.
Error coins, are kept as they are worth a premium, there are many error coins such as double dies, mint marks over each other, double ears, wide rims, small and large dates, and many more, a coin book is very helpful for finding these.
S mint coins are more rare than other mints and the rule of thumb most handsorters use is "keep the s mints" and then look through them later.
collector coins are too many to mention but there are many, many coins that are worth a premium for one reason or another, you just need to take the time to figure out what you are looking for.
Bright and Shiny coins are kept to fill coin books or make complete rolls by year and mint mark.
THE BUYER: This person may have dabbled with collecting a few pennies out of change, and maybe even sorted some rolls a time or two but, they quickly realized that buying them pre-sorted was a much cheaper and easier way to acheive their goal of having a cetain amount of pennies.
HANDSORTER: This person checks all pocket change for pre 1982 pennies, picks up every penny they find on the street. Cash outlay is minimal and expectations of more then 10-20 lbs are "hopeful"
EXPERT HANDSORTER: This person does the same as above but, also may buy $10-$20 worth of pennies from friends or the bank and look through them by date, They also clean out the "give a penny, take a penny" jar at stores when nobody is looking. Cash outlay is small and expectations of having 100 lbs someday may be realistic.
EXTREME HANDSORTER: This person does all of the above but, has also bought equipment to help. Perhaps a coin roller, a scale to sort the 82's by weight, or even adapted or invented a way to seperate coin. cash outlay is several hundred dollars and expectations of having 100 lbs someday are more than realistic.
MACHINE SORTER: This person has done all of the above but now has equipment worth a few thousand dollars to speed the process up, there cash outlay is excessive and usually they never get more than a few hundred pounds before they start selling it to recover costs. I am aware of maybe 100 People in the U.S. in this catagory.
EXTREME MACHINE SORTER: This person has done all of the above and now has tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and sells on the open market. cash outlay is ridiculous and the expectations of having thousands of pound now are entirely up to how much they want to spend. I am only aware of 6 people in the U.S. in this catagory.
Copper is addicting, its allure and beauty will draw you in and never let you go.
crazy coin guy