Pennies And Nickels Worth More Melted Down
Because of the prevailing prices of metals, the cost of producing pennies and nickels exceeds the coins’ face value.
A nickel is 25 percent nickel and 75 percent copper. The metal in one coin costs 6.99 cents for each 5-cent coin.
Modern pennies have 2.5 percent copper content with zinc making up the rest of the coin. The current copper and zinc in a penny are worth 1.12 cents.
Estimates put the amount of pennies in circulation at over 150 billion, worth $1.5 billion as is and $1.68 billion if melted down. That’s a loss of $180 million.
And let’s not forget our friend the nickel, who we lose almost 2 whole cents on. But I’ll still use the 1.99 cents to calculate the loss. Ready? 20 billion nickels in circulation worth $1 billion as is and $1.398 billion if melted down. $398 million lost by printing these things.
So what is the mint doing about this? What else? Making it illegal to melt your money…
U.S. Mint officials said Wednesday they were putting into place rules prohibiting the melting down of 1-cent and 5-cent coins, with a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for people convicted of violating the rule.
By the way, ABC has more about this from June of this year when the news first broke.
One last question…should we get rid of this coinage once and for all? Or at the very least get rid of the penny?