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Jan 15, 2011

Did You Know It Costs More Than a Penny to Make a Penny?

I just found out that it costs more than a penny to manufacture a penny. Specifically, it costs 1.62 cents to produce that 1 cent copper coin. And that's been the case for a while now! What the hell?

Why's it cost so much? Apparently, the penny is made from 2.5% copper and 97.5% zinc and those metals have gone up in price as of late. In fact, if you could melt the coin, you'd have materials totaling 1.62 cents—more than the cent that measly penny is worth. That's crazy! What's crazier is that it's been that way since 2006. Aren't useful things supposed to be greater than the sum of its parts? Shouldn't they have changed the metal mixture to something cheaper by now?

Apparently, the director of the Mint tried to make the penny cheaper to manufacture but Congress shut that initiative down. As it currently stands, the Treasury boss can "recommend changes in metal content or in the amount of coins produced" but only Congress can make the final decision.

So maybe it'll eventually become worth the money to make! Though really, I figured this loss in manufacturing would make for a good reason to kill off the penny (I mean, who likes pennies?). But with old school Congress calling the shots, I doubt that'd ever happen—no matter how useless and expensive pennies become.



24 comments:

Pawawanpi said...

The problem with pennies is that no one really uses them. I know I don't maybe making them more useful or something... I kind of wish that pennies would go away, but out of all of this I don't understand why congress wouldn't vote yes on changing the manufacturing process to something cheaper.

Major.Mack said...

yes i did know that!
why doesnt everyone commit to giving me all your pennies....you dont use them ;)

Guy Movie Blogger said...

I once saved up $50 worth of pennies. Completely not worth the effort...

Isaac said...

I actually did know this heh, nickles aren't cost productive to produce either

thedude748 said...

haha, that's hilarious. it doesn't make any sense that they would keep producing pennies

Teutorix said...

I really hate the penny.

anon408 said...

Great post!

http://anon408.blogspot.com

Mr. Insanium said...

I didnt know that, but its pretty awesome.

BTN Hip Hop said...

man, thats some inflation shit

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HalfLifeWorld said...

The need to stop making pennies then!

G said...

wow didn't know that...guess it's probably true over here in the UK as well...
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hhttp://intemperate-folly.blogspot.com/

RP said...

The US needs to stop making pennies and dimes to keep up with the times....interesting post

MISC BOMB said...

If only you could sell your pennies.....................

chrischaos said...

y dont we just go and say, buy 100$ worth of pennies, smelt them down, seperate em up, and sell for 160$ then buy 160$ worth of [pennies and do the same thing, do there job for them.

Snickelsox said...

The reason people hate pennies now is because their worth has go down so much they are practically useless. If one dollar could still buy you a meal of some sort then the pennie would become useful again. As long as our money keeps going down in value our opinion of the pennie will also go down.

JayPower said...

I wonder if anyones melting them down for profit? ;D

runewake2 said...

Your answer is inflation. As inflation increased we had to pay more to make less and thus... this.

SuciƓ Sanchez said...

A guy got busted by the Feds for smelting them. He claimed he was doing the govt a favor as it costs even more to ship them from areas of over-supply.

-ITW- said...

this is horribly disappointing.

the princess said...

I have heard this before, and it honestly makes no sense. Honestly, who uses pennies? They are spending millions of dollars a year to make something that is irrelevant and not cost-effective. Stupid.

SpydaRaff said...

wow thats really interesting wonder why they do that when the penny is so useless lol

Dirty Flow said...

I think they tried to scrap the penny in canada.

MRanthrope said...

wow...thats the government for you