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CLAREMORE, OK. – An Oklahoma man is offering $10,000 in exchange for one penny.

Richard McPheeters is a coin dealer and collector in Claremore, and he is looking for a rare penny to complete a set. This isn’t your average penny.

The particular penny he is searching for is a  certified 1982 Small Date Denver mint penny made of copper. 1982 was the last year pennies were made from copper. McPheeters has 7 of these pennies out of 8 from the Denver mint and he is looking for the 8th one.

The 1982 penny varieties involve the so-called” Large Date” and “Small Date” die modifications and the two different types of planchets, or blank coin, used that year, solid copper-alloy and copper-plated zinc. Between the two planchet types and two styles of dies used, eight different combinations were possible between the Philadelphia and Denver mints involved for business strike production.

McPheeters has been collecting coins since he was 12 years old.

Copper vs. Zinc

McPheeters says you can tell the difference because pennies nowadays are made of zinc with a copper plating.

But, if you don’t know that much about coins, it might be hard for you to figure out what you have. says the most accurate way to tell if the penny is copper or zinc is to weigh the penny. Solid copper pennies weigh 3.11 grams (+/- 0.130 g.), whereas the copper plated zinc pennies weigh only 2.5 grams (+/- 0.100 g.).

The website also says the pennies sound different when dropped. A zinc penny will have a flat “clunk” sound, while a copper penny has a high-pitched ringing sound.

What if you have THE penny?

It’ll have to be graded and certified, which is an expensive process,  but for the correct penny, McPheeters will pay $10,000.

If your penny is certified to be “the one”, McPheeters can be reached at 918-923-7325.