Rikki D. writes: I have a silver penny (I think) that was created in 1986. I wanted to know if this penny was worth anything or is a collectors item. Please let me know. Thanks
You have a zinc cent missing the copper plating. Cents have been minted on copper plated zinc flans since 1982. This error is fairly common and is caused by the plating not adhering correctly when the sheets of coin metal are rolled. This error is called a “Full Lamination”. Value Range: $10-$15. See: United States Clad Coinage
Silver Cents have never been minted in the United States. The only possibility of a Lincoln cent being on a silver flan would be a rare occurrence where a silver dime blank was mixed with Lincoln cent blanks. Since a dime is smaller than a cent the planchet would be stretched to fit in the collar when it was struck. The resulting coin would be distorted and very thin. It would also weigh 2.5 grams vs. the standard copper Lincoln cent weight of 3.11 grams. Also, no silver dime blanks existed in 1986. They were discontinued in 1964.
There seems to be a plethora (I like that word) of plated coins used for promotion. You can tell if its just a regular cent by weighing it. A barrel plated zinc cent weighs 2.5 grams.