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Copper is a soft reddish metal known since ancient times. Metallurgy began with the simple beating of malleable copper into the shape desired. It has a wide variety of applications in industry, most often found in electrical wiring, plumbing and automotive uses. It is a metal found frequently alloyed with others – with tin for bronze, or zinc for brass.

Although used as a coating on the U.S. penny, copper’s softness leaves it with wear properties that are less than ideal for use in general circulation coins. For some kinds of custom minted coins, however, copper can be a fine choice, and indeed is a popular choice in regions where copper mining is done. Such coins, when minted in a proof like finish, will exhibit copper’s distinctive red color, with good detail. Copper responds well to antiquing and can also be greened, offering good flexibility with coin finishes.

Copper has been recently selected as the metal to be used in the minting of a coin honoring the USS Abraham Lincoln minted for the U.S. Navy.

Copper is also a frequent choice as the underlying metal in the minting of large plated coins. The appearance of such a coin takes on the characteristics of the plating, not the copper, but the use of copper can be a less expensive option than a coin made entirely of the plated metal.

US flagMunicipal Coins is a part of Northwest Territorial Mint, one of the Country’s largest and most respected minters of fine custom coins and medallions.


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