Old pennies have a higher worth due to their copper content. This means they can be sold for a profit. A load of old pennies may also contain valuable collectible coins which are worth more than 1 cent when sold, says MoneyNing.
Pennies made in 1981 or earlier have a high copper content of 95 percent, with the other 5 percent being zinc or tine, according to Daily Finance. This is much more copper than current coins, which only contain 2.5 percent copper. If an old copper penny were melted down, it would be worth 2 cents in copper. For this reason, it's possible to sell old pennies as unofficial copper bullion, as melting coins is illegal.