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Can I Melt Down Coins for the Metal?

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If you read my post about finding the melt value of junk silver coins, you probably wondered to yourself whether it was possible for you to melt the coins down yourself. It’s definitely possible but it’s also illegal.

The Mint outlined new rules in 2006 that said it was illegal to melt coins, it’s illegal to export coins for melting, and you can carry up to $5 in pennies and nickels out of the country or ship $100 abroad for “legitimate coinage and numismatic purposes.” While pennies and nickels were explicitly called out in the 2006 rules, other coins were included as a result of previous rules.

What happens if you break it? The regulations authorize a fine of no more than $10,000 and/or up to five years in prison. Pretty stiff stuff.

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4 Responses to “Can I Melt Down Coins for the Metal?”

  1. Wow that is stiff. So I am assuming that coins that are traded for their melt value are actually left in tact, and never melted? Or are they eventually sold back to a mint and then melted? Interesting.

  2. cvargo says:

    Numismatic value usually outweighs melt value, so take your coins to a reputable coin dealer…. first search online to find out how much your coin is worth (ball park estimate).

  3. freeby50 says:

    That rule from the mint seems to only apply to pennies and nickels. It appears to have been a reaction to high copper prices.

    • Strebkr says:

      I’ve never tried it and I don’t think I ever will, but the average person probably doesn’t have anything they could melt it down with. That level of heat is something you can’t get out of a stove, camp fire, or propane torch. You would probably spend more money trying to heat it up then you could even get back if you are talking about pennies and nickels.


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