End of the Penny?
Will The United States Mint Discontinue Pennies?
Some say the United States Mint will end the production of both pennies and nickels. As time passes and inflation eats away at the purchasing power of the US Dollar, the US Mint has found it more and more difficult to manufacture some fiat coinage even for face value much less make a profit or "seigniorage"! Given the obvious budgetary strain this causes, our elected representatives as well as a few special interest groups and the public, have debated whether to discontinue, find alternatives to the US cent and five cent piece problem or let things continue as they are.
Here are a few links we hope will be of interest to readers looking for the history of the debates over "Ending the production of US coinage", e. g. pennies and nickels. Some articles also propose various replacement materials for use in minting our future US cents and nickels. Other discussions bluntly propose discontinuing the United States cent and / or five cent piece to reduce the ongoing negative seigniorage. Some still lament the loss of the half cent in the mid 1800's, some of the same comments were made then. (So I'm told. :-)
2/2012 COINUPDATE.COM's Steel Cent, Nickel and Dollar Coin News and Discussion.
SUMMARY: President Obama’s recently submitted 2013 Budget includes a proposal to provide the United States Mint with greater flexibility in the material composition of circulating coins. Specifically, the Budget seeks to enable the Treasury Department to explore, analyze, and approve new, less expensive metals for all circulating coins.
4/2012 HR3694 nickel bill (PDF)
SUMMARY: To amend title 31, United States Code, to save the American taxpayers
money by immediately altering the metallic composition of the 5-cent
coin, to require a prompt review and report, with recommendations,
for cost-saving changes in the metallic content of other circulating United
States coins, and for other purposes.
3/2012 End of the Canadian Cent
SUMMARY: The Government of Canada has announced its intention to withdraw the Canadian penny from circulation due to its low purchasing power, its rising cost of production relative to face value, the increased accumulation of pennies by Canadians in their households, environmental considerations, and the significant handling costs the penny imposes on retailers, financial institutions, and the economy more generally. The penny will retain its value indefinitely and can continue to be used in payments. However, as pennies are gradually withdrawn from circulation, price rounding on cash transactions will be required. In removing its lowest-denomination coin, Canada will follow on the successful experiences of many other countries.
4/2012 Digital Money=The Future
SUMMARY: OTTAWA, ONTARIO – April 4, 2012 – The Royal Canadian Mint is pleased to announce that it has launched a program for developers from across North America to test and challenge a digital currency technology and to determine its applicability to the current marketplace. The MintChip™ Developer Challenge, which will accept submissions from April 4 until August 1, is part of the Mint's ongoing research and development efforts.
4/2013 HR1719 Cents and Sensibility Act
SUMMARY: H. R. 1719 To amend title 31, United States Code, to save the American taxpayers money by immediately altering the metallic composition of the one-cent, five-cent, dime, and quarter dollar coins, and for other purposes.
9/2013 HR3146 (PDF) "Mint no coin that costs more to produce than the denomination of the coin."
SUMMARY: (e) Prohibition on Certain Minting- Notwithstanding any other provision of this sub-chapter,
the Secretary may not mint or issue any coin that costs more to produce than
of the coin (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping).