4th of July & American Metal Facts

american metal

That time of year is here when the sun is shining, water is splashing, beers are flowing, and burgers are cooking. With the 4th of July Holiday here in America, we want to take some time aside to go through the history of our fine country and how metal and other commodities have changed in worth or use over the years. Below we have some of the most common metals that were being used during the signing of the Declaration of Independence times and throughout the history of the United States.



Just to give you a starting perspective of how much our country has changed, the cost of living today is over 15 times greater than it was back in 1776. That is a huge difference in just living in the home of the brave, land of the free. We want to take a couple minutes to show you how much scrap has changed since our country was born.

Why not start off with everyone’s favorite metal, GOLD!

– Back in 1776 if you had $1,000,000 worth of gold, it would have weighed 51,308 ounces. Today that gold would be worth $67,470,020.

– Our country was taken off the gold standard back in 1972 by President Nixon. The precious metal coins (gold, silver, platinum) are bullion coins and will be protected from ever being recalled by the government. Bullion coins are worth their weight for their value.



Scrap metal and other commodities had much different value throughout the history of the US

– Back in 1776, a ton of iron was worth approximately $63.73. Today the current price is about $65-125 per ton due to the recent declines in the market.

– During the American Revolution, colonies created their own form of money with paper bills to avoid using the British pound, which led to extreme inflation. The British set up blockades and the cost of regular items rose significantly. The value of $1 in 1776 would be worth approximately $30 today.

copper pennyThe history of the copper cent can tell you a lot about America’s History

– History of the copper cent is interesting when you look at how copper, zinc, steel, and bronze have been used throughout the years to produce the cent into circulation. Because copper is a valuable and useful commodity, it has been introduced and disbanded in the production of the American Penny.

– During the years of 1793 to 1837 the penny was composed of 100% copper.

– It was then bronze from 1837 to 1857 made from copper, tin and zinc.

– In 1857 it was changed to 88% copper and 12% nickel and gave the penny a whitish appearance.

– The penny returned to bronze again from 1864 to 1962. However in 1943, the copper was completely removed from the coin and replaced with zinc-coated steel because of the critical use of copper in the war effort. Only a limited number of copper pennies were produced during 1943, and is worth a great deal of money to collectors.

– The penny then had the tin removed and was left to 95% copper and 5% zinc in 1952.

– That copper penny was used until 1982, but was then changed to 97.5% zinc with a copper plated zinc on the outside of 2.5%. This was due to the cost of copper to produce the penny.


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