Producing pennies no longer makes any sense12/22/2012
It literally does not make cents to produce pennies, as the small denomination costs 2 cents per coin to make. That adds up to a negative one cent value for each penny made. And, let's face it, pennies are used almost exclusively for wishing wells. The Treasury Department is toying with new, cheaper alloys that still offer durability. The cost issue doesn't just stop with the tiny portraits of Lincoln — it takes more than 11 cents to make a nickel. So far, the Mint has been testing 29 different alloys with special "nonsense dies" with different images on them so test coins won't be confused with the real deal. The face on the fake penny? A bonneted Martha Washington. [Source]
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Do we still need pennies?