Ron Paul: Forget About the Gold Standard, Let’s Talk About the Copper Standard

The melt value of old copper pennies (pre-19820 is three times their stated value of one cent. From Ron Paul at birchgold.com:

Forget About the Gold Standard, Let's Talk About the Copper Standard

Photo by Adam

Way back in 1982, two interesting things happened.

The first was the publication of the minority report fellow Gold Commission member Lewis Lehrman and I co-wrote as The Case for Gold. (I’m currently working with Birch Gold Group to release a new edition of this book in the near future.) Now, I understand that might not be as interesting to everyone as it was to sound-money advocates like myself.

I’m sure you remember the second interesting thing, though…

Here’s how journalist David Owen described it:

Several years ago, Walter Luhrman, a metallurgist in southern Ohio, discovered a copper deposit of tantalizing richness. North America’s largest copper mine – a vast open-pit complex in Arizona – usually has to process a ton of ore in order to produce ten pounds of pure copper; Luhrman’s mine, by contrast, yielded the same ten pounds from just thirty or forty pounds of ore.

The only problem was, Luhrman’s incredibly profitable copper mine wasn’t a hole in the ground. Instead of ore, Luhrman’s company Jackson Metals processed pennies. He’d figured out a way to melt them down and separate their 97.5% copper from their 2.5% zinc and sell the metal.

Since 1793, U.S. pennies have been made of copper (except for 1943 – when the U.S. Mint’s copper stockpiles went to the war effort). The amount of copper in each penny and its purity ranged from 88%-100%. All the way up to September, 1982.

That’s when inflation weakened the U.S. dollar to the point that, and I swear I’m not making this up, the price of the penny’s copper content rose above 1¢.

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