filed under: life
24 September 2006
How many pennies in this jar? (Click the image to see a bigger version.)
I started this penny collection sometime around 1994, because I don’t like pennies. Really – that’s the reason. My goal is to collect all the pennies there are, so that there aren’t any left in circulation, so I don’t have to deal with them any more.
I won’t spend money to add pennies to my collection, but I also won’t spend any pennies I get. They all go into the jar.
Beyond my goal of collecting them, I’m also not allowed to give them away. Back when I started the collection a good friend gave me some pennies and told me that I could only have them if I swore to keep them for the rest of my life. I was allowed to will them to my grandkids when I died, but that was it.
I agreed, and immediately mixed his pennies with the rest of the collection. That way, I never know which pennies were his and which weren’t, so I can never risk giving any of them away. My friend wasn’t the sort of person I’d break my word to.
The collection continues to grow, and it’s been more than 10 years now. I’ve had to upgrade containers a few times (from a little glass jar, to a gallon jug, to two gallon jugs, to a small Pyrex container, to the current large Pyrex container), but I’ve never really known how many pennies I had.
I recified that a few days ago, after I happened across an old scale at a yard sale. I bought the scale and used it to weigh the full jar, and the empty jar, so I could subtract to get the weight of the pennies.
As proof, here’s the setup:
Pennies + jar: 111.5 pounds
Jar: 12.5 pounds
Pennies (by subtraction): 99 pounds
According to the United States Mint, I have no prayer of knowing the average weight of the pennies in my jar. If, however, I’m willing to live with a very imprecise answer, I can assume that the pennies in my jar are all relatively new and untarnished, in which case the Mint then informs me that a penny weighs 2.500 grams.
Given that, google tells me that I have:
Pennies (grams): 44,905 grams
Pennies (count): 17,962 pennies
Pennies (value): $179.62
Rounding that off, I probably have about $180 worth of pennies. Apparently this endeavor isn’t going to make my grandkids rich :)
Did you guess right? I did – I had guessed that I had $150 – $200 of pennies in the jar.