The way it works is like this: there’s usually a bit of time between the start of the year and the first time I see a coin minted that year, so I’ve only recently started to see 2016 coins. Scratch that; I hardly ever use cash any more so I’m not sure that I’ve seen any coins from this year. Let’s say years past, then. When I was younger, then, and handling coins at my parents’ store, that’s what I would see. Your eyes are naturally drawn to the shiny shinies and that’s also approximately when I started learning about coins and numismatics.
Pennies made after 1982, when we started running the store, are copper-coated zinc and have less copper content, naturally; they’re still worth more than a penny in terms of the metal value but that’s well-known. When they get worn, though (and I admit they haven’t gotten worn as much as I would imagine) you’d see the silvery-gray core inside, much like the 1943 copper/steel pennies, although in the interceding nearly forty years, they’ve stepped up their copper coating game. I try to keep up with trivia and facts where I can.