The investment mistake Otha Anders made

In 2015, an old Louisiana gentleman charged at a nearby bank a load of 55-cent plastic water jugs he had collected for the previous 45 years. After counting the last penny, Otha Anders received more than $ 5,130 as a total of her pennies. That exceeds 510,000 cents. To the general public, this news probably sounded wonderful, but to all American numismatists who collect and buy coins for fun and profit, Anders lost a lot of money.

According to the News-Star of Monroe, La., Anders referred to each of his pennies as a “God-given incentive that reminded me that I would always be grateful.” However, in the Anders case, a “penny saved” may be more than “a penny earned.” Many of those who charged for instant cash would have been worth more money.

Since Anders began hoarding pennies in 1970, he would have collected many pennies of “wheat” that hit the Mint between 1909 and 1958. Even today, there are still many pennies of “wheat” in penny rolls. and circulating changes. When he started saving in 1970, he would have found many pennies of wheat in very good condition. For the past 45 years, most of each of these cents would have more value than a penny.

According to RS Yeoman’s “Guide Book of United States Coins 2015,” wheat penny values ​​ranged from $ 0.10 in good condition to several hundred dollars in an “almost” uncirculated state. In addition, the guide records some extremely rare pennies that were worth up to $ 5,000 in uncirculated conditions. However, it would be impossible to estimate the numismatic value of the entire collection; each coin should have been examined by reputable coin traders who could have helped him sell his collection, but it is easy to imagine that Anders would have earned more than $ 20,000 if he had had the patience to make them. evaluate.

In addition to the numismatic value, there is a precious metal value for the price of the entire weight of the copper coin. All American copper coins struck up to 1981 contained 95% copper. According to the website “InvestmentMine”, in 2015 the average value of copper was $ 2.86 a pound. All Anders pennies weighed more than 2,800 pounds. So if you chose all the coins, we would multiply 2,800 pounds and 2.86 the sum in copper would have been a total of about $ 8,000. However, a conservative estimate of the number of copper cents was 75%, we would get about $ 6,000, which is about $ 900 more than he received.

While Anders received more than $ 5,100 for his huge collection, he could have achieved much more if he had taken the time to evaluate them all for a numismatic format. However, the good news is that if you live in or near Louisiana, you could buy a lot of penny rolls from local banks and you’ll probably find some of these wheat cents with a higher rating.