Pennies look bright and shiny when they are first produced but eventually turn brown over time. But why do pennies turn brown? This post will answer that question! I will then discuss whether or not you should clean pennies.
Why Do Pennies Turn Brown?
Pennies made before 1982 were composed entirely of copper. Since 1983, pennies have been made of zinc with a thin copper plating. Pennies turn brown because the copper metal is very reactive and will react with air (over time) to form copper oxide, which has a brown-red color.
Should You Clean Pennies?
The short answer is no! Most collectors like the deep brown color that pennies form over time. Old and worn pennies are the most sought after by penny collectors. You shouldn’t use vinegar, baking soda or lemon juice to clean a penny. All you should do is clean a penny with water to remove any dirt.
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