Penny And Nickel On Life Support

…Bill Seeks Steel Cents, Nickels, Dimes, and Quarters. Note that the bill’s main sponsors are from Ohio, which is a steel manufacturing state. But this legislation is more than just grandstanding.

Unlike similar legislation in previous sessions of congress, this new bill will probably gain traction in the current congress, since the government has now been losing money with the seigniorage costs of pennies and nickels for many years. Well, I’ve been warning you since 2009, folks.   

While this bill is still in committee, I suspect that a coinage composition change will take place before the end of 2013. The ravages of inflation made the change inevitable. The Coinflation web site presently lists the scrap value of the base metal content of the current U.S. zinc penny at $0.021192 (211.92% of face value) and the cupronickel five cent piece at $0.045671 (91.34% of face value), and their actual minting and distribution costs are actually much higher. According to Coin Update, it cost the US Mint $0.1009 to produce and distribute each nickel, as of fiscal year 2013. They can’t go on spending 10 cents producing each five cent coin much longer….


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