So in the previous post I noted that the steel cents that came with the collection were in amazing condition.
Turns out, this isn’t exactly normal, as I sort of suspected. In sum, the steel cent had a problem with corrosion and rusting soon after their issue. Many firms, in turn, stripped off the existing zinc coating from the cents and replated them prior to selling them. This act removes nearly all of the numismatic value of the coin.
Aside from the brilliant luster of these reprocessed cents, you can find out if your steel cents are reprocessed by examining them under a magnifying glass. The corrosion is usually poorly removed, indicated by doubling of the date, and the edges of the coin have a clear margin where the two halves of the coating meet. The coins I obtained have both of these properties.
(More info right here; most of this post is derived from this for your convenience.)