Welcome to the Lincoln Cent Forum Glossary.
Use the alphabetical links above to navigate to the desired term.
This glossary of terms was written and compiled by Will Brooks with the help of our forum members. A huge thanks to everyone who contributed knowledge, ideas, words, and photos to make this growing educational resource possible. Special thanks to Richard Cooper, aka “Coop” who donated many of the photos.
Zinc: An element used as the core material in copper-plated zinc cents minted from mid-1982 until the present. Zinc was also used as the plating over steel cents made in 1943, and also as an additive in some copper-alloy cents prior to 1982. See Alloy for compositional break-downs of Lincoln cents.
Zinc Rot: Zinc corrodes easily when exposed to the environment. When the plating is split on a copper-plated zinc cent, the zinc will often corrode under the plating, and push up on it creating a bigger and bigger fissure. Due to the strength of many of the hand-punched mint marks on pre-1990 business strike cent dies, this is a very common place on Lincoln cents for the plating to split and for this corrosion to take place.