Whenever I research a post for this site, I usually have a lot of fun zooming around the Internet looking for the wackiest, strangest ways people can make money. Often times, I find something pretty outlandish such as the ideas to sell whale vomit for money and how you can hunt for buried treasure to potentially walk away with millions of dollars.
Given the name of this blog, you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon the option to hoard real pennies and cash in big. To write about hoarding pennies on a blog called The Penny Hoarder?! Somebody pinch me!
But it’s true.
Just ask Joe Henry, a bona fide penny hoarder who has amassed over 200,000 pennies in his garage in Medford, Oregon. He literally spends hours rolling coins, and he is on a first-name basis with the local bank tellers.
Why his obsession with pennies?
Well, it’s not just any penny–Mr. Henry only collects those that have been manufactured before 1982. This is because pennies made before 1982 were produced using 95% copper. Considering that most pennies are now made with zinc, you can imagine the potential money pit he’s sitting on with all that copper in his garage.
But wait, melting coins is illegal!
Before you try to convince your spouse that this is the best financial advice you’ve ever heard, you should know that the federal government prohibits the melting of any coins, especially pennies. Furthermore, they have a very strange law that prevents the transfer of more than $5 in pennies outside of the United States.
Fortunately, there is potential legislation in the works–unprecedented legislation from the U.S. Mint–that might completely rid our monetary system of pennies. If this happens, people would be 100% free to melt them down and profit (amazingly so) from their copper composition.
What if that never happens?
Even if the legislation doesn’t pass, penny hoarders are still in a money-making advantage. People like Adam Youngs, who operates the Portland Mint in Portland, Oregon know the value of a penny. Youngs has literally built a fortune from buying and selling pennies–for more than their face value! His operation oversees the transfer of millions of dollars of pre-1982 pennies that collectors and investors want. When recently interviewed, Youngs explained that he has over $270,000 worth of pennies but that the pennies’ copper value is worth at least three times that amount!
Youngs also explained how these penny hoarders are helping him build a booming business, all by paying more than face value for these pennies. A skeptic of sorts, I did a quick search on eBay, and I was shocked to see that there are indeed pennies selling for double their face value–$20 worth of pennies for $40, etc. Youngs himself has discussed how he is able to sell $100 of pennies for at least $176 when shipping and other costs are factored in.
Considering that kind of markup on pennies, it’s no wonder that there’s a growing contingency of penny hoarders around the country.
What do you think, Penny Hoarders??