Joe Henry is on a first name basis with bank tellers across his hometown of Medford, Ore., scouring 15 banks a week with one thing on his mind: pennies.
Henry is often seen toting around bags of pennies, some he buys, others he changes back in for cash, which seems a little strange at first. He’s not a collector, he is what’s known as a “penny hoarder” and he is not alone.
Inside a shed next to his house, Henry has orange tubs filled with 200,000 pennies, and he spends hours sorting through roll after roll of the coins. But it’s not just any and all pennies, Henry is only interested in those that are dated from 1982 and earlier because those are the coins made with 95 percent copper. A copper penny is worth more than other pennies — now mostly made of zinc — currently priced at $0.024.