This site is all about precious metals with a heavy focus on my favorite metal, gold. Today, I'm
going to do something a little different and take a look at a non precious metal which has been
appreciating in value quite rapidly, copper. The picture to the left is a large stash of
copper bars. Copper is a common metal and is used in many applications including gutters, wire,
and pennies. However, demand currently exceeds supply and the US dollar is under a lot of pressure,
forcing the price of copper to new heights. Copper bullion bars, ingots, coins, and pennies are
emerging as a brand new niche with precious metals investors and collectors. Today I will talk all
about this fascinating hobby and my personal excitement around it. (When you're done reading this
article, I also encourage you to read my brand new free eBook about copper bullion
highlighting my top 10 copper bullion tips and also my copper bullion videos.)
©iStockphoto.com – monomov
Copper Pennies are Worth More Than 1 Cent
A very interesting fact: All pennies before 1982 (and some produced in 1982) are primarily composed
of copper. All pennies after 1982 (and some produced in 1982) are only coated in copper. The reason
for this is copper is worth more than the face value of the penny itself. According to
Coinflation, the current value of a pre-1982 copper penny
is over 1 cent. In fact, as of today (March 26, 2011), each pre-1982 copper penny is worth
about 2.9 cents (simply amazing)!
What does this mean to the metals investor? First, it indicates you should hoard all of your pre-1982
pennies. You get instant and free investment returns by holding onto your copper pennies. Second, it
may make sense to buy some copper pennies and bars. I have recently brought home some $25 dollar boxes of
pennies from the bank and sort through them by hand to pull out the pre-1982 pennies for investment. This
is a cheap and fun weekend hobby. One guy has taken this hobby to the next level and has developed a
copper penny sorting machine which sorts the copper pennies
from the non-copper ones. If I had a garage, I would buy this because it's a great tool to sort through
tons of pennies and get instant appreciation. If you are interested in investing in copper pennies,
you'll want to get started immediately. Gresham's law states that bad money drives good money out of
existence. In this case, the old pre-1982 pennies are "good" money and the post-1982 pennies are
"bad" money. (Even the post-1982 pennies, largely composed of zinc coated with copper, are
anticipated to have a metal value higher than face value as inflation continues.) As more and more
investors start hoarding copper pennies, there will be none left. How many silver dimes, nickels,
quarters, and half dollars are in circulation today? Almost none. This is Gresham's law in action.
The good news: You're still ahead of the curve and have time to start investing in copper pennies.
Copper Bullion Bars
Another way to invest in copper: A variety of mints as now selling copper bullion bars. Some of
my favorite mints include Jetco Metals, The Metal Mint, The Copper Cave, and Tacoma Copper.
As with anything, there are pros and cons with this investment method. Let's start with the pros. I am
amazed with the quality and variety of bullion bars that are available these days. If you are a
serious investor, copper bullion bars provide a very easy way to accumulate a large position in copper
bullion. The bars also make great gifts since they are very good looking. Moreover, copper bullion bars
are much easier to sort through, store, and trade than pennies. Given that a sizeable position in copper
takes up a lot more space than gold or silver, it makes sense to own bars rather than coins. The main
downside of purchasing the bars is they do not provide a discount to current bullion value of copper.
With pennies, however, you can accumulate them for their face value and realize an immediate return.
That is arbitrage at its best! Given all of these facts, perhaps a hybrid investment solution
makes the most sense. Accumulate some copper bars and also some pennies. This is what I'm personally doing!
(As a new and exciting update for 2011, I'm now thrilled to offer HD quality
copper bullion videos. When you're done reading this article, I highly recommend
checking out my videos!)
Copper Bullion Bars From Jetco Minting (Store Closed But Available On The Secondary Market)
Now, I'd like to highlight several of my favorite copper bullion bar mints. I must start off with
Jetco Metals. Jetco has
been around since the early days of investment grade copper bullion bar industry. I remember buying
my first copper bar from them in 2007. I continue to be amazed with the beauty and quality of all Jetco
bars. For this reason, I highly recommend Jetco for all copper bullion portfolios. I recently purchased
several copper bullion bars from Jetco USA including their 5 pound, 1 kilo, 25 ounce, and 1 pound bars.
(Once you're done with this article, you may wish to check out
pictures of my Jetco Metals copper bullion collection.)
My personal quest is to own all copper bars in the Jetco lineup, a collector's dream since there are so many.
As a newer update (as of March, 2011), I'm finding it more difficult to find Jetco bars online. Their
website appears to be closed and also I'm not seeing these bars as much on eBay. That said, I recommend
keeping a close eye on eBay, as Jetco bars may pop up from time to time on the secondary market.
Copper Bars From The Metal Mint (Store Closed But Available On The Secondary Market)
In addition to Jetco Minting, I have recently purchased a 5 ounce copper bullion bar from The
Metal Mint. Overall, my experience was fantastic and I would highly recommend this copper bullion store
as well, especially for smaller sized copper bullion bars. My 5 ounce bar only cost me $5 (plus another
$3.50 for shipping). You will want to check out my
review of The Metal Mint.
As an even newer update, I just purchased a beautiful
1 kilo copper bar from The Metal Mint.
Again, I felt like I got a really great price on the bar as the low priced leader in the small world of
investment grade copper bullion ingots and bars. Unfortunately, since I made these purchases, The
Metal Mint has closed shop. They will be fulfilling all outstanding orders but are not taking on any
new orders at this time. Still want to buy these copper bars? You can still find them on the secondary
market on eBay and also at The Copper Cave (next).
The Copper Cave Offers Very Unique Copper Bullion Bars
I additionally recommend checking out
The Copper Cave
by Susquehanna Hobbies, the newest copper ingot store on the Internet. The Copper Cave is the first
store on the Internet that offers copper bullion bars from all major copper bullion mints. They
offer copper bars from the brands mentioned here in addition to all the great mints to help diversify
your copper bullion bar collection. I personally purchased Market Harmony copper ingots and am
extremely pleased with my purchase. In addition to the review just mentioned, I recently ordered
more copper bars have created a page to showcase
images of the copper
bars I purchased from The Copper Cave. The owner of The Copper Cave is one of the best in the
industry and I highly recommend this store (in addition to the awesome Market Harmony bars they
sell). Want to learn more about Market Harmony? I recently completed an exclusive
interview with Market Harmony LLC,
one of the most exciting articles on this site! You may also want to check out my
pictures of my Market Harmony bullion.
As another new article, I also recently interviewed the owner of The Copper Cave. Make sure to check out
my interview with The Copper Cave,
another one of the most interesting articles on this site.
Copper Bullion Bars From Tacoma Copper (My New Favorite)
There's a new player in town: Tacoma Copper.
I am absolutely mesmerized by their impressive mirror-like copper bullion bars. Tacoma excels on
several levels: their bars are huge (5 pound, 5 kilo, 10 kilo, and 15 kilo), their bars are competitively
priced even when you do the Buy It Now option on eBay, and their bars are absolutely gorgeous investment
grade pieces. For this reason, Tacoma is my personal favorite copper bullion bar mint right now!
Should I Really Invest in Copper?
When I first started writing this article, I was investing in copper as a hobby. Copper is not
a precious metal and there is a lot of it in the ground. Over time, I expect the dollar to be
weak and copper will likely continue to do well. There are much better alternatives:
gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Collecting a sizeable copper position would take up
a huge amount of space and be impossible to transport. However, a lifetime of wealth can fit
in just a handful of gold coins. At the same time, I think this is a very unique time for the
copper investor. You can buy copper for a discount to its fair metal value (via US pennies). There
are very few cases where you can be guaranteed a price appreciation with no risk. Even better, as
copper continues to appreciate, you will make even more money. Moreover, copper is not in the news.
As a contrarian investor at heart, I know that the best investments are the ones that nobody
knows about. Ten or twenty years from now, those who did not invest in copper will be very
disappointed. If you think about the long term and take advantage of this historical moment (how
much would you give to be able to go back and accumulate silver US coins for their face value?),
I think it definitely makes sense to accumulate a position in copper bullion. Do I like it better
than gold and silver? Definitely not. I am a gold bug at heart and there are many articles on this
site illustrating the reasons for my attraction to gold. At the same time, as a prudent investor, I
cannot deny the opportunity in copper bullion and pennies and will definitely carve out a portion
of my investment portfolio for more copper in the coming years. If you are interested in learning
more about investing in copper pennies and bars, there is a community of copper investors over at
Real Cent. Fun place to go to get the opinion of others
and how they're investing in copper. My conclusion to all of this: Once you get started, you will
not be able to stop! Investing in copper pennies and bars is so much fun and I often find myself
on eBay late at night trying to get a good deal on copper bars.
©iStockphoto.com – achococat
Shares of Stock in Copper Mining Companies
I also wanted to present two other different ways to invest in the rising price of copper. The first
is buying shares in copper mining companies. The benefit of this route is you don't need to store
the copper yourself. While it's easy to place gold and silver bullion in your
safe deposit box,
copper is just too big. If you buy shares in copper mining companies, the barrier of storing copper
is removed. The downside to this option is the tumultuous stock market and fact that you don't get
to hold the asset in your hands. This creates risk where there is no risk in buying copper pennies at
a discount to their metal value. If you decide to investigate copper mining companies, the same principals of
investing in gold mining companies
Copper Wheat Pennies - Numismatics?
The image to the right is an old US wheat penny. Wheat pennies are copper pennies that contain a
wheat emblem on the reverse as pictured. In your quest to accumulate copper pennies, you will
definitely pick up a few of these wheat pennies. While not that many people are giving them much
thought today, I expect them to be more and more rare over time. As you accumulate wheat pennies,
put them in a special place apart from your regular copper bullion coins. Wheat pennies may some
day be worth even more due to a potential rise in numismatic value. Numismatics is the area of
coin investing that gets into rare coins. Rare numismatic coins trade at a premium due to their rare
collector value. One of my great hopes is that I accumulate some bullion coins for their metal value
that eventually turn out to also be numismatics. Wheat pennies are a case where this might turn out
to be true! Want to buy some copper wheat pennies? Check out my
review of Pennies.com.
In my opinion, Pennies.com is the place to buy wheat pennies and I have had several great
experiences buying from them.
Copper Bullion Is Money
I hate to close on a negative note, but we should definitely consider the doomsday scenario. The
US dollar continues to erode in value. All fiat currencies come to an end at some point. When they
do, objects of value are used to make purchases, namely gold, silver, and copper. The problem with
gold and silver is they are worth too much. A one ounce gold bullion coin is currently worth over
$900. What if the US dollar is worthless but I need to make a purchase that costs $5 in today's
dollar terms? While gold and silver will be worth too much, copper is the ideal candidate for smaller
purchases. While I certainly hope this doomsday scenario does not materialize, it illustrates just
one more reason to complement your precious metals portfolio with copper, a very neat base metal
that will gain exponentially more interest over the upcoming years.
Copper, Aluminum, Nickel, Brass, Bronze, and Stainless Steel Bullion Bars
In addition to the copper bullion bars discussed above, I have been collecting base metal ingots of
other flavors as well. Let met start by underscoring that copper is my favorite base metal. However,
collecting base metal bars is all about diversity and it has been a lot of fun buying these other bullion
bars as well. I recommend checking out my personal experience buying:
stainless steel bullion,
tin bullion, and
zinc bullion. Once you
get started with base metal bullion bars and ingots, I guarantee you will be fascinated and hooked on
a great hobby and investment!
As you can tell, I can't get enough of this! Copper bullion is one of the most fascinating niches within
metals and I'm here to spread the word. I'm especially excited to have just launched my free copper bullion
eBook: Gold Why's Top 10 Copper Bullion Tips. I've been collecting copper bullion bars and pennies
for over 2 years and have become the industry authority for information about copper bullion. My new eBook
offers 10 cutting-edge tips not available anywhere else (including this site). How do you get my free
eBook? It's simple! Simply sign up for
Gold Why's Free Email Newsletter and my eBook
will be delivered right to your email inbox. Moreover, you'll start receiving my free newsletter offering
free content not available on this site. I'm really proud of my new eBook and sincerely hope you enjoy
As a new update for 2011, I'm absolutely thrilled to offer HD quality copper bullion videos right
here on Gold Why! It only makes sense, Gold Why is the Internet's leader (since 2007) in providing quality information
about collecting and investing in copper bullion coins and bars. I owe it to you, my loyal readers, to continue to raise
the bar and that's exactly what I'm doing in 2011 with my videos. Right now, I have two copper bullion videos uploaded,
nearly 10 minutes each in length, that highlight my large and small copper bullion bars. The first video focuses on
the large, heavy bars in my collection. Make sure to check out my large
copper bullion bars video. The second video
focuses on my small, lighter weight copper bullion bars. Make sure to check out my
small copper bullion bar video.
Can't get enough? Want to learn even more? I just answered one Gold Why reader's question
about why copper bars are expensive.
And, I've got a brand new article for 2017 about my massive
10 pound copper bullion bar from Provident Metals.
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