Transcript for Extreme Penny Hoarders Hope to Cash In
-- today's jobs report finds that unemployment dropped last month eight point 6% that's the lowest level in two and a half years it's good news on its face. Although much of that drop comes from... See More
-- today's jobs report finds that unemployment dropped last month eight point 6% that's the lowest level in two and a half years it's good news on its face. Although much of that drop comes from people just giving up looking for jobs meanwhile Americans. Continue to -- all kinds of enterprising ways to make a buck and tonight. A look at the latest example -- startling solution right under our noses collecting in jars grappling in dryers hiding and couches. Here's ABC's Neal Karlinsky. Got any pennies today all right well we elected by Ambac closed today all right you hardly need a penny for Joseph Henry's thoughts frequently -- good want to. He's on a first name basis but bank tellers across his hometown of Medford Oregon. Scouring fifteen banks a week with one thing on his mind. -- Find some teasing others back in for cash it all seems a little weird. But he's no collector and he's not alone he's what's known as in -- Porter. From the orange tubs that hold an astonishing 200000. Pennies in a shed next to his house for the hours spent sorting through role after role. It's no joke he's really into penny. But not just any -- only those that are from 1982. -- earlier because those pennies aren't just spare change. They're made of copper and give this a copper -- is worth more than a penny it's worth 2.4 cents. That -- had such a different sound and think pennies to. Real money can't have that definite. Sound of money in if you listen to a modern saint opinion they don't sound as saying they sound sort of -- Here's the thing about copper its price has been sky -- just look at this chart from the last few years. The rising price has led to some unusual crime sprees these have been exploiting the value hidden in obscure items. Stripping the copper wiring from -- and utility cables from construction site. Even this 122. Year old copper bell stolen from a San Francisco cathedrals. In San Diego so much copper wiring has been stolen from eight different city parks that soccer teams can't practice because the lights stopped working. Penny orders -- -- just opportunist. Take a look at eBay and you'll find a slew of listings for pennies in bulk. And here's the amazing part you'll see listings like this for ten dollars in -- being sold for twenty dollars. Because. If you think only -- soccer would -- two cents for a penny. You're missing out on a business opportunity that a guy by the name of Adam young's has perfected. It. Approximately a hundred dollars and in this box there's a hundred dollars and ten -- But he doesn't cost a hundred dollars about it. And how much to someone pay you for a hundred dollars and for them it's about 176 dollars to -- the box so people are paying you 176 dollars 400 dollars and and yes. -- young's runs on massive -- sorting operation locked inside a secure facility that -- with armored cars sells and ships to clients in every state. And works in pennies by that time. He has big money clients storing huge sacks of pennies and inquiries from hedge funds what kind of wanted to re talking about how much -- you holding. -- in face value alone about Sorensen thousand dollars right now -- 170000 in -- yes here. Yes in bag -- and bags like that so that's just. The face value of the flatly that the copper copper bell is about three times so you can't -- smiled at that now. Clients deal with young because he separates copper pennies from the chump change the newer ones that are only worth -- -- But in the weird world of penny hoarding getting to -- copper is a very big problem it's illegal to melt pennies. And just in case you were thinking of taking them to another country to turn your pocket change -- copper. There's even an obscure law that makes it illegal to transport more than five dollars in pennies out of the country. Really. Of course the penny orders know this but they know something else to. In what could be the biggest legislation -- hit the US went in fifty years officials are now looking at the composition of had been Nichols. Considering an overhaul. So if they get rid of the penny. Right and you can melt your pennies that's right and then there you wealthy man -- third which is why Joseph Henry's 200000. Penny collection will only get bigger. He even has a 500 dollar home counting machine to separate the copper wants the court opinion here as a sample one. And then when the penny drops through. Yet that's besides what if -- zinc and copper. To be sure penny orders are another breed. But that doesn't mean they're wrong at Enron stock it's all worth nothing if I had with some dot com stuff from years ago. We're not. These are still worth the -- -- and might seem odd or strange but their work at least a penny. And maybe some -- a lot more if the laws changed a penny saved many times over could be -- whole lot earned. I'm Neal Karlinsky for Nightline in Portland Oregon.
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