Collecting the 1982 Lincoln Cent

The Seven (eight) Varieties of the 1982 Lincoln Cent

Partway through production of the 1982 Lincoln cent, the U.S. Mint changed the coins’ composition from brass (95% copper and 5% zinc) to one that is predominantly zinc (0.8% copper coating over a 99.2% zinc core). Cents dated 1982 come in both metallic varieties. There are also large-date and small-date versions in both compositions.

Viewed side by side, the large and small dates are relatively easy to tell apart. The cents were minted in both Philadelphia and Denver. All varieties are common; however, it is a challenge to find all seven varieties in your packet change.

Distinguishing between the brass and zinc cents is easiest by weight. The brass cent is heavier at 3.11 grams.  The zinc cent weighs 2.5 grams.

In all, there are seven different varieties of the 1982 cent. Just one combination is missing: There is no small-date cent in brass from the Denver Mint. Wait! Are there seven or eight varieties? If the proof version of this coin is included, then there are eight.  Happy Collecting!!

Source: Information taken from

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