Lessons from a 100 year old penny

in LeoFinance2 years ago

Friends, we've been robbed.

Oh, the dollars and cents are still there, that isn't the problem. In fact, there are more dollars now than there ever have been.

What's been stolen from us is the money itself. Gold, silver, and copper aren't simply "what coins used to be made out of". Those metals are money. And in 2020, the money's long gone.

From my personal coin collection, that's a 100 year old Canadian penny. You can't tell, but it's large, and heavy - 1/5 of an ounce of pure copper. A dollar? Either a nice chunk of silver, or a huge pile of copper bullion:

At the time - right about the middle of the Russian revolution - gold and silver were also widely used in circulation. Notes made of paper were also used, but less commonly. As it had been for thousands of years, metal was real money. Notes were nothing but receipts for the money.

Here in Canada, 1920 was a year we switched up our coinage. A smaller penny was minted in addition to the regular one (and from then on, only the smaller penny was minted).

It was still pure copper, but much lighter. And just as they had with the larger penny decades earlier, the public rejected the new coin. They found it too small, and made of too worthless a metal. Eventually, it was begrudgingly accepted, and a dollar became a much smaller amount of copper:

And so it went, every few decades. The size was slightly decreased. The copper got watered down. The thickness was decreased. Finally, the penny was made of steel, with just a thin layer of copper paint, to make it look like real money.

And in 2012, they killed the penny completely. All purchases in Canada now round to the nearest $0.05 (aka "nickel"... which isn't really a nickel anymore because it's made of worthless steel).

Never clean coins!

Don't do this. Seriously, never clean coins. Even if you know what you're doing, like me, DO NOT DO IT! Every coin collector or appreciator, every historian, every antique lover..... they will tell you not to clean coins. And I agree with them. Don't do this. (And don't leave me comments saying I shouldn't have cleaned my coin!)

That said, I decided to clean the 1920 large cent. I wanted to see how the metal looked when it was fresh from the mint once century ago.

That's salt, dissolving in vinegar. To that, I added the penny:

It took salty vinegar 1 minute to remove most of a century's dirt, grime, and patina. After giving it a gentle wash with hot soapy water...

So that's what it looked like, fresh from the Royal Canadian Mint, in 1920! Gorgeous luster. And now, every little nick in the surface shows up. What other coins banged against this one in somebody's pocket, to create those tiny dings? Where did this coin journey before it found itself in my grandfather's hands somewhere around 1960?

What did this coin once buy? It bought a lot more than one cent does nowadays, that's for sure. Inflation is the hidden tax. Now that our currency is backed by nothing, and our coins are totally worthless (if we're even allowed coins at all anymore), nothing stops the central banks and governments of the world from robbing from the people. Trillions are created from thin air, without even a single piece of copper backing them. This devalues EVERY other dollar already in existence.

That is how we've been robbed, friends. Slowly, over generations.

Skeptical citizens 100 years ago complained that real money was being taken from their currency. How can both these coins be worth one cent, they asked. And rightfully so.

Today, we are almost cashless, meaning ALL coins, along with notes and any other form of private currency, are being removed from circulation. All that's left for the people are 1s and 0s in computers, stored on little microchips, backed by nothing.

Consider me skeptical that removing physical currency is going to empower the people any more than removing the metal from it has.


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Does this generation even know or remember take a penny, leave a penny? They used to be for a bit more than pennies, but now that the penny is gone, so are they. It's weird how fast stuff fades from memory when it's not in our daily routine. It used to be so normal to pay for cash at fast food places and that penny jar would always be there.

Penny jars, tooth fairy, buried treasure, tipping, wishing wells.... lots of fun stuff and culture is disappearing because coins are being outlawed as "too real" for the New Normal.

Those things are HUGE! Amazing that all that metal was only stamped with "one cent". You would need a pocketful just to be carrying 50 cents! Then again, 50 cents could buy a week's groceries....

Now who doesn't miss counting out pennies, receiving pennies in their change and picking up a penny from the ground? Sometimes you don't know what you got 'till it's gone! Let the penny be a metaphor for life!

I'd pick a penny up off the ground if I saw one, even if it wasn't copper ones. Pennies used to look so useless, but now looking at that stack of copper, they look almost like gold!

Im with @medikatie. I still pick up pennies. We learned “find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.”

What wild crazy stories does this land we walk on behold... countless men who have fallen over the history of time.

History is amazing indeed!

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Nicely said... hearing you say it that way conjures up images of ages gone by. So many came before us, generation after generation after generation, stretching back who knows how far. We're the survivors, the lucky ones, the culmination of all those lives. Walking around arguing about Trump on our smart devices.... progress!?

In the US, pennies were copper until 1982 (except for 1943 when they were made from steel due to a wartime copper shortage). Now they’re made of zinc. Pre-1982 pennies have a melt value of 1.8 cents today. I save any that I find, but it’s fewer and fewer every year as “bad money chases out good.”

I bought some Canadian silver coins from 2013 to 2015 today. They are all 8 dollar coins, but some are 1.5 ounces and some are 1.25 ounces. That’s confusing :-)

Those strange denominations are silly to me. Maybe a sign of silver hitting a peak frenzy of popularity from 2011 to 2013. Reminds me how there are a bunch of weird art bars minted around 1979 and 1980... a previous silver frenzy.

By the way, at least Zinc isn't as worthless as Iron. Zinc is rarer, and has additional properties, like helping the body destroy viruses :)

Ha ha...you're right. 30 mg daily, with some quercitin.

Nice coin there! Good job cleaning it up! Does vinegar work with other metals like silver? And is it 100 % safe and harmless?

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Great questions! The reaction doesn't harm the metal. You could allow it to tarnish again, and then do this cleaning method again, and the coin would remain the same. Any kind of scrubbing you do (like with toothpaste or baking soda) will definitely remove any dirt still on the coin, but that will definitely wear the surface. Cleaning coins with numismatic (coin collector) value is definitely frowned upon. This coin was only worth a couple bucks to a collector. It was worth it to me to clean it for the demonstration. I also like cleaning up other old copper coins and items (brass and bronze work well with this method also).

For copper, it's dissolved salt and vinegar.

For silver, it's dissolved baking soda and aluminum.

Those are 2 of my 800 YouTube videos. Most of the rest are shadowbanned (almost no views) because I talk about real things, like silver as sound money, the government is corrupt, end the fed, and so on.

Those 2 videos alone account for 1/3 of ALL views on ALL my videos!

Anyway, have fun cleaning your old (non-valuable) coins, rings, chains, etc :)

thank you very much! appreciate the reply, ill give you a sub too, not that it mattesr much if you are shadowbanned :(

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