Silly Cents


"In April 2006, the copper-plated zinc cent contains 0.8 cents worth of metal. However, the mint spends about 0.6 cents to produce each cent in addition to the cost of the metal content. Presumably with the rapid rise in price for zinc, the US Mint will have to find another alternative. However, it is Congress that determines the denomination and content of coins that the Mint must produce and put into circulation. As the United States Mint produces only the coins that Congress mandates, it does not have the authority to alter or abolish a unit of currency. If directed to do so by legislation enacted by the Congress and signed by the President, the Treasury Department would again study changing or phasing out the cent. Because the demand exists and the Federal Reserve Banks require inventories to meet the demand, the United States Mint is currently committed to producing the cent at a loss."

Perhaps it's time to ditch the penny (and nickel) and start dealing in dimes?

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