Introduction: Lucky Penny 4 You

Picture of Lucky Penny 4 You

Take an Iron ( not copper ) penny add two small but Powerful NIB magnets
and you can assemble this fun conversation starter.
It's an easily wearable personal  iconographical boost.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials
Only  One Tool Is Needed

This tool is your trusty computer,   which is necessary to buy the two NIB magnets.
I recommend you get ten of everything.............  your friends will love it.
And if your as old as the coin as I am get 20 of each.

Materials Needed

First you need a clean 1943 iron penny.  This is available through a numismatist ( coin ) shop. 
  1. I used to buy the iron pennies from Wonder Magnet.
  2. More recently I would buy 50 at a time about 40¢ each last year from a local coin shop.

You need one NdFeB Neodymium-iron-boron Disc Magnet, 3/8 in. x 1/8 in.
  1. Available from Forcefield Magnet

And you need one NdFeB Neodymium-iron-boron Disc Magnet, 3/8 in. x 1/16 in.
  1. Also available from Forcefield Magnet.

Step 2: What Is an Iron Penny

Picture of What Is an Iron Penny

An Iron penny is basically made of.........Zinc coated Steel.
it  can  and does  Rust,
but the color is Blue like steel pic_1.
it is Magnetic and is strongly attracted to magnets.

Some Stats;

The penny was made by the US in 1943, because of the  War effort that needed the Copper for bullets.
Real 95% Copper pennies circa 1960 weigh o.11 ounces,  while Iron pennies weigh o.10 ounce each. 
Keep in mind there has been  No significant Copper  in  American pennies since the 1983.
Present coinage is 2.5% Copper 97.5% Zinc per penny, circa 2000 weigh only o.09 ounces today.

See the four Iron pennies attached to a small stack of 3/8" diameter horizontal magnets.

And the five iron pennies step-stacked with a sixth vertical iron penny held in position by  NIB  magnets.

Step 3: NIB's Have More Pull

Picture of NIB's Have More Pull
Neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnets are the strongest type of permanent magnet made.
"They have replaced other types of magnets in the many applications in modern products
that require strong permanent magnets, such as motors in cordless tools, hard disk drives,
and magnetic fasteners" and toys.

Two 3/8" Magnets are the fasteners to promote this rare iron penny on clothes
hanging on from your body.

These magnets are Not-Metal but a Ceramic,
They cannot be drilled or machined,
They shatter into sharp little black glassy shards
They cannot be soldered or welded they die about 350º
The thin nickle plating conducts electricity.

 Hazards ;

NIB magnets larger than a few centimeters are strong enough to cause injuries
to body parts pinched between two magnets.
Magnets allowed to get too near each other can strike each other with
enough force to chip and shatter the brittle material, and the flying chips
can cause injuries.
There have even been cases where young children who have swallowed
several magnets have had a fold of the digestive tract pinched between
the magnets, causing injury or death.

They Are Small for Their Pull

See a 100 each 1/8'' and 1/16 stacked nickle plated ( gold plate  is available )
magnets holding one iron penny.
See also the two individual NIBs in relation to a copper penny for a relative size.

These small magnets are safe to handle on skin.

!!  WARNING  !!

These little magnets Will destroy your smart phone, MP3 player hard drives permanently,
Wipe your credit cards and magnetize and Lock up mechanical watches.

So, keep your iPhone and iPod ½ foot away from these magnets.
I do not assume any responsibility for any damage you cause
by leaving these magnets lying around loose.

I keep my unused magnets in a steel folder box.

Step 4: Wearing Iron

Picture of Wearing Iron

Wearing the Iron Penny

Place the magnets on both sides of a T-shirt, if you are a guy.
You gals might have to anchor the magnets on a bra strap under your blouse.
Separating the magnets is easily done by sliding them apart with both hands.

!!!  DANGER  !!!
IF You Have Imbedded Heart Electronics Under Your Skin
Like a Defibrillator or a Heart Pacemaker.

When you decide to wear and display the Iron penny.
You should be aware that removing the coin is best separated by sliding the penny sideways off the magnet.
Don't pull, you will only distend your clothing.
Undressing at night  without first removing the coin,  can send it anywhere in a room
depending on how you disrobe.

Step 5: Fun of Magnets

Picture of Fun of Magnets

Weather you believe, that if you enjoy it you will be messy at it,  or not.
The penny can let you look Techie while wearing a serviette for Lunch
and not spattered over your shirt or blouse .

Or do you need a third hand at the Theater for a ticket pass ??

Step 6: Pennies at the Burn

Picture of Pennies at the Burn

Have a Look around the desert.
See the author wearing penny with a Gorgeous Scandinavian Wife.
Followed by Ben dispensing a truck of his welcome ice creme
making burners smile girls stretching out. 
Even Cops and a Feminazi crack a grin.

Work your way bartering things for things until you are on top of it all last pic.

Step 7: Trading in the Desert

Picture of Trading in the Desert

Author ( POP ) and  #1 Daughter burners both posing with Ferric penny.

Author spinning his wheel at the Belgian Waffle then commiserating with a buddy.
You can see an Iron penny on the shirt I wear in pic_2.

You are asked to,  barter and  discouraged  from buying anything  but water,  coffee,  ice and 
the mounting effluent tank pumping truck.  

The magnets and iron penny are sought after barter goods even
by pro dancers for the main event in pic_3.

By this end of the week the playa dust has gotten into the camera and every other thing.
And I have bartered and given away my 100 Iron iconographic treasures.


Hazel Gaul (author)2017-11-16

Great post ...

iceng (author)Hazel Gaul2017-11-16

Thanks for your nice comment :-)

Hazel Gaul (author)2017-11-16

I have lot of coins collection with me at home and relating same story...

iceng (author)Hazel Gaul2017-11-16

Good to hear..

onrust (author)2012-06-30

In the spirit of your iron penny @ burning man........ I gave mine all away! Since, I have purchased some and its a very addictive activity. Anyone who spots it or asks about my "hat pin" gets one. Thanks again

iceng (author)onrust2012-06-30

I was all set to buy another hand out set of magnets an coins for this years burn
when they whacked the tickets for this year :-(

Now the best are not going, sad...


onrust (author)iceng2012-07-01

Whacked the tickets?

iceng (author)onrust2012-07-01

Unlike all years before, they random selected who could buy 2 tickets
this year, because they ran out of the desert authorities 50K limit..

Ex ample, The people who spend $40,000 to put up a free bar only got
half their workers ( impossible situation ) so they are not doing the bar.

This hurt every art project.... In the 11Hour the desert authorities relented
to permit 60K tickets Too Late for restarting major art projects. 
Several mini burn events already occur ed on Indian controlled land.

The whole event is whacked #¬þ


onrust (author)iceng2012-07-01

That's sad. Seriously sad.......BUT, how have the "Burning White Guy" events been going :)

BLUEBLOBS2 (author)2012-04-15

I have lots of these. They are a cheap and easy way to start a coin collection. Very nice 'Ible.

iceng (author)BLUEBLOBS22012-04-15

Yea, saw your page.  You do good stuff with monies.
I enjoy using UV to see the hidden fluorescent reflector strip in US paper.

I think what made this ible soar was the word LUCKY ,
and it didn't hurt to have one of my pictures placed as the first Pic
in Google's images for " Iron Penny "

Thanks for commenting.   BTW publicize your next ible on Facebook etc.


BLUEBLOBS2 (author)iceng2012-04-16

Do you think any of my 'Ibles are worthy of being featured?

onrust (author)2011-11-15

So, did they use the same dies to stamp the iron as they did the copper?

Goodhart (author)onrust2011-11-22

not very many copper ones were stamped that year, In fact, IIRC, they are worth a LOT if you have one.

iceng (author)Goodhart2011-11-22

I can attest to that rarity having spent four score years searching for a
copper 1943 penny and never found such a coin.


canucksgirl (author)iceng2011-12-14

Wow, you truly do learn something new everyday... I had to look up the facts on this "rare copper penny" and found some info that suggest an authentic 1943, copper U.S. Penny is worth $10,000 +

That being said, there are a lot of forgeries out there. Its considered an "error coin", because the U.S. Mint accidentally used the wrong planchet metal, but coins got out before the error was discovered.

I must be checking my coins more often.... even here in Canada, our coins are inundated with U.S. pennies.

iceng (author)canucksgirl2011-12-14

Very true, But the iron pennies cost only 50¢ US


Goodhart (author)iceng2011-11-22

I think I read somewhere that only a few hundred may have been struck, and that most of them are in the hands of collectors....with maybe 6 or so in circulation if they haven't been destroyed somehow...

iceng (author)Goodhart2011-11-22

My research also confirms 6 are still unaccounted.  Good luck finding one.
I have often thought about using two simple servos to position pennies
to a viewable neural net algorithm which can reject improbable copper dates from my kilos of old copper.


Goodhart (author)iceng2011-11-23

There you go, with all that copper, you may very well hold a few of them :-)

iceng (author)onrust2011-11-15

No idea.
Maybe a numismatist will chime in.

onrust (author)2011-09-19

I just had one in my hand! The girl at circle K had an odd penny that would not go through the machine. That's a heavy little sucker! It really is something to see.

iceng (author)onrust2011-09-19

Yea..... They do grow on you, I forget my iPhone more then the coin :-)

onrust (author)iceng2011-11-15

OUCH!.....bigger magnet? lol

onrust (author)2011-08-19

I had no clue there was an iron penny. I just seek the wheat!

imbignate (author)onrust2011-08-25

They're actually Steel, not iron.

iceng (author)imbignate2011-08-25

You are correct and "Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has
a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight".

I have many Rust ridden pennies and no gentle way to clean the rust without
defacing the coin.
When thinking of steel the concept of stainless and poor magnetic properties
come to mind, however neither of these steel distinguishing characteristics
are presented in my favorite penny.
Based on this, I will continue to refer to this coin as an Iron penny :-)
Please tell me, what do you think now ??


Bard (author)iceng2011-08-25

Have you tried using phosphoric acid to remove the rust?

iceng (author)Bard2011-08-25

No I have not.
Is it available over a counter ?
How concentrated would you suggest ?
And thanks for speaking up.


Bard (author)iceng2011-08-25

I'm not sure, I know my grandpa used it to remove rust on farm equipment.

Bard (author)Bard2011-08-26

I looked it up and other names for it is rust converter, and navel jelly. if you want to search online. It turns the rust black and according to some sites it can be scrubbed off. I recommend testing it first on something expendable to see how hard it is to remove the black oxidation.

iceng (author)Bard2011-08-26

Thanks for the extra work I will be trying it after I return from the Burn,


caarntedd (author)iceng2011-11-12

Don't use phosphoric acid to remove rust from anything precious. Also it is nasty dangerous stuff. Use molasses. It is safe and won't remove any material other than the rust.

iceng (author)caarntedd2011-11-12

Right... I have learned it's power staining silicon to measure diffusion depth.
And then one day found a hole through my red tie before lunch !


Thoth (author)iceng2011-08-25

Steel is not necessarily stainless. Stainless steel is a particular steel alloy containing chromium and nickle in addition to iron and carbon, which also accounts for its poor magnetic properties.

There are dozens of steel alloys that will rust as easily as iron and have equal or slightly improved magnetic properties. Though you are free to call your pennies what ever you desire.

A cheap source of phosphoric acid is give the coins an overnight soak in diet coke. Or another method is place them in a jar with distilled vinegar and salt (doesn't matter really how much) and give it a shake.

onrust (author)iceng2011-08-25

I think ferrous pennies are cool. :)

iceng (author)onrust2011-08-25

Thanks onrust, Ferrous is cool :-)


imbignate (author)iceng2011-08-25

I say you can call them whatever you want, but they will be known forever by numismatists, the department of the treasury, and the US Mint as Steelies.

Feel free to note in the link where it says:

Composition 100% steel with a thin layer of zinc

As I said, feel free to call them whatever you like.  The one in your post looks like a Doug.  Doug the penny.

iceng (author)onrust2011-08-19

Neither did I and never found the 43 penny until
a kindly coin shop told me about it.


mattthegamer463 (author)iceng2011-08-20

During the war there was a high demand for copper by military arms manufacturers, so they switched the pennies from pure copper to steel, since steel was more abundant at the time. Naturally, pennies have to cost less than a penny's worth of the material their made of.

Also, 50 pennies for 40 cents? Good deal.

iceng (author)mattthegamer4632011-08-20

Yea, Fifty pennies for 40¢ each comes to $ 20.oo over a year ago.


mattthegamer463 (author)iceng2011-08-20

I should have assumed. Anyway, cool stuff.

mrfixitrick (author)2011-08-25

This cool idea will also work fine with most Canadian coins. About 1/3 of Canadian pennies are steel and are magnetic, and all of the other coin denominations are too. The Euro is also magnetic.

iceng (author)mrfixitrick2011-08-25

Wow.... I do enjoy ibles all ways learning. I bet Canadian Steel coins don't Rust :-)

Thanks for the info M.

and steel is an alloy that consists mostly of ferrous iron.


iron = ferrous. thats why it's periodic symbol is Fe "ferrous iron" is a bit redundant, theres no such thing as "non-ferrous iron" also, steel is a mix of iron and carbon. most "iron" made back in the day was actually really crappy steel, because steel is made by introducing air to iron while it's molten. also, they will rust, but not if theyre handled regularly, because the oils in your skin protect them, the same reason pennies in the US get dark but usually arent totally green.

Thanks for the note.
I got into a bit of a heated argument about "Iron coins"
and I agreed not to call American or Canadian coinage by the "I" word.

Now, I can only call Euro coins as Iron.

As you know Fe is attracted to magnets.


DabeAltis (author)iceng2011-08-25

The author wrote: "I bet Canadian Steel coins don't Rust". I'll take that bet, I have several rusty Canadian coins which say you lose! I'm pleased you finally conceeded on the iron or steel debate. Quite simply, you were wrong. Yes, steel consists mostly of iron, but there's a big difference between the two and it's not just "a little carbon". Iron has copious amounts of carbon! Try handling some shavings where cast iron is being machined, that slick black powder left on your hands is graphite (carbon). You can fold a steel penny in half and it remains intact. Try that with iron and you'll wind up with at least two pieces. There are many types of steel and most are quite magnetic, even some types of stainless.

dj_nme (author)DabeAltis2011-08-26

I'm sorry but you are mistaken about "iron"
What you have described is called "cast iron" and has more than 4 percent carbon in solid solution with iron.
Iron (or pure iron) has almost zero carbon in solution and is very ductile and soft.

A piece of iron the size and shape of a penny could be bent in half just like you describe a "steel penny" can be.

A piece of cast iron the size and shape of a penny would just snap and not bend at all.

Steel has less than 4 percent carbon and falls between iron and cast iron in it's properties.

DabeAltis (author)dj_nme2011-08-28

I stand corrected! Thank you.

iceng (author)dj_nme2011-08-26

While Cast Iron was never brought into this ible or this thread by me.
Please understand I have listened to the reason of many others before you
on this kind of Ferrous penny being in reality a Steel penny with a zinc flash.
I also agree the Canadian coins are also steel.

That just leaves the Iron Euro :-)


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