Posted on 15th February 2012 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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I love reading MSM articles that blather on with trivialities while missing the big picture. It costs 2.4 cents to make a penny. It costs 11.2 cents to make a nickel. The article provides all kinds of facts but fails to reach the logical conclusion that 100 years of currency debasement by the Federal Reserve has reached its point of no return. The Romans methodically reduced the metal content of their coins as their empire slowly and methodically declined. The price of all metals continue to rise in dollars as the Federal Reserve prints them at hyper-speed. There is no way to produce a penny or a nickle for less than the value of the coin. We’ve passed the point of no return. The USD has lost 97% of its purchasing power since 1913, as man made inflation has destroyed the middle class. We are the Roman Empire in its final death throes.

Obama wants cheaper pennies and nickels


The U.S. Mint is facing a problem — especially during these penny-pinching times. It turns out it costs more to make pennies and nickels than the coins are worth.

And because of that, the Obama administration this week asked Congress for permission to change the mix of metal that goes to make pennies and nickels, an expensive recipe that has remained unchanged for more than 30 years.

To be precise, it cost 2.4 cents to make one penny in 2011 and about 11.2 cents for each nickel.

Given the number of coins that the mint produces — 4.3 billion pennies and 914 million nickels last year alone, those costs add up pretty quickly: a little more than $100 million for each coin.

But even though Treasury has been studying new metals since 2010, it has yet to come up with a workable mix that would definitely be cheaper, and it has no details yet as to what metals should be used or how much it would save to do so.

Even if a cheaper metal can be used, it might not take the cost of a penny down to less than a penny.

Just the administrative cost of minting 4.3 billion pennies costs almost a half-cent per coin by itself, leaving precious little room to make a penny for less than a cent, no matter the raw material used.

The raw material cost of the metals used in a current penny is only about 0.6 cents per coin, according to prices quoted on the London Metal Exchange, and a breakdown of a penny’s composition from the mint. The mint paid 1.1 cents on average for the metal used in a penny in 2011, but that is the cost of ready-to-stamp blanks from the supplier, not raw material traded on commodity markets.

Funny money? 11 local currencies

There have been times in recent years when a run-up in zinc and copper priceshas taken the raw material value of a penny above one cent.

That’s the case for a nickel today. Its more expensive metal mix means the raw materials in each are worth almost 6 cents per coin, based on current market prices. (States eye silver and gold currencies)

Despite popular belief, since 1982 pennies have only been copper plated, not copper through and through. Much less expensive zinc makes up 97.5% of the mass of a penny, the rest is a copper coating.

Nickels actually have much more copper in them — 75% copper and 25% nickel, the same mix it has always had.

The mint did make steel pennies for one year — in 1943 — when copper was needed for the war effort. And steel might be a cheaper alternative this time. Steel is roughly one-quarter the price of zinc on the London Metal Exchange.

Treasury had already made a cost-saving move in December when it stopped making dollar coins.

With 1.4 billion surplus presidential dollar coins sitting in bank vaults waiting to be circulated, and American consumers showing little appetite to start using the coins, Treasury estimates the halt in production of the coins will save about $50 million a year.

Check commodity prices

Treasury spokesman Matt Anderson said Treasury has the authority to stop making the dollar coins on its own, but it can’t change the mix of metals in pennies without permission.

As for the suggestion of some that the penny be abandoned altogether, Anderson said only “that is not a proposal we have put forward.”

  1. Stucky says:

    How much does it cost for a dollar bill?

    Thank god paper is still cheap.

    A nickel … back in the good old days.


    15th February 2012 at 12:59 pm

  2. TeresaE says:

    Save your pennies and nickels (at least those made prior to this latest debasement), because I foresee a day when China will pay us more than face value for the metals contained in the worthless coins.

    My grandpop used to always say America was going to hell in a handbasket.

    His head would explode if he were alive today.


    15th February 2012 at 1:00 pm

  3. DaveL says:

    Electronic cash only. It’s coming. For ten years I’ve cashed in my World Points at Visa when I get enough to take $200-300 bucks cash back. Until now, when I cashed in, they would send me a check in 3-5 days. Now, they don’t send a check anymore. They deposit the money directly into your checking account. Still takes them 3-5 days to do it. One day, I won’t be able to go to the bank and take out the cash. I will just be told I can spend the money by using my debit card. No more cash transactions. No more pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters. No more dollars.


    15th February 2012 at 1:16 pm

  4. Cynical30 says:

    Right you are Dave. In fact, you are so right you couldn’t be any righter. Nowadays foodstamps aren’t stamps. They’re EBT credit cards. Child support is no longer handed out in checks. They credit your shiny new Visa card. All this being said, JP Morgan is making a FUCKING KILLING on all of the fees they generate for servicing the cards/accounts.

    The electronic conversion of our money allows Wall Street to take out their pound of flesh with every transaction you make along with their partner in crime the Fed.gov. Just another way to fleece the golden goose en masse.


    15th February 2012 at 1:39 pm

  5. Persnickety says:

    In other news,

    “Megadeth Frontman Dave Mustaine Endorses Rick Santorum ”



    15th February 2012 at 2:12 pm

  6. matt says:

    Dave has been hanging out with monkeys lately, maybe it has warped him a little:


    15th February 2012 at 2:26 pm

  7. jmarz says:


    The website above tracks the metal value of US coins. As Jim points out, the metal value of the penny and nickel exceeds the face value. We lose money on every penny and nickel we manufacture and issue.


    15th February 2012 at 2:45 pm

  8. [email protected] says:

    If we are the Roman Empire, I just wanna know one thing:

    Where is my gladiator-stud-beefcake to answer my every whim? Huh???


    Jeez Loueeez. Not only is my currency debased but the general caliber of stud-muffins has declined also since the days of the real Roman Empire.

    No wonder we are doomed.


    15th February 2012 at 2:55 pm

  9. [email protected] says:

    Oh noos! My eye candy did not show up. Let me try again.



    15th February 2012 at 2:56 pm

  10. FT says:

    “Megadeth Frontman Dave Mustaine Endorses Rick Santorum ”


    I used to think that Scorpions’ Eye II Eye CD set the gold standard for batshit insanity by metal musicians in middle age, but I think we have a new winner.


    15th February 2012 at 3:00 pm

  11. KaD says:

    Cynical30: And the black market and barter economies are ways to stick it to the man even if all the money goes electronic.


    15th February 2012 at 3:26 pm

  12. Kill Bill says:

    Cool, soon our coins will be made of lead or like the Spartans steel quenched in vinegar.


    15th February 2012 at 3:58 pm

  13. Kill Bill says:

    Stucky says: Jim enjoys his weekend Gladiator reenactments.

    That is no Hoplight


    15th February 2012 at 4:01 pm

  14. DaveL says:

    jmarz says:


    “We lose money on every penny and nickel we manufacture and issue”

    Could that be different than the Post Office, Amtrak, Government Motors?



    15th February 2012 at 4:38 pm

  15. Administrator says:

    She still has that enormous cancerous mole on her face.


    15th February 2012 at 4:45 pm

  16. Yojimbo says:

    We are the Roman Empire. In fact, I’m having a vomitarium added to our house next week.


    15th February 2012 at 6:01 pm

  17. ron says:

    Yes mentally ill senate danceing and doing perverse things while the country burns.Or something like that.


    15th February 2012 at 7:15 pm

  18. IndenturedServant says:

    We make money on every other coin we make. Seignorage on all other denominations of coin, more than makes up for the cost of the nickel and penny.

    Save all your pennies and nickels. They will become the “junk silver” of the future.


    15th February 2012 at 7:17 pm

  19. Novista says:

    Australia got rid of one- and two-cent coins long ago.

    I wonder if Kyle Bass ever got his $20 million of nickels?


    15th February 2012 at 11:17 pm

  20. AKAnon says:

    A dollar is worth 4 cents (in 1913 dollars), right? So wouldn’t it be cheaper to make nickels out of dollar bills?


    16th February 2012 at 2:48 am

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