Are the Penny's Days Numbered?

By: Lauri Martin
By: Lauri Martin

Are the penny's days numbered? Apparently, to produce a penny costs around 1.3 cents. And that's just too much for one Arizona congressman who is introducing a bill that could put an end to the one-cent.

The zinc-coated copper coin has been part of American money for some time, 213 years to be exact according to the Money Museum. On the back of the penny is the Lincoln Memorial and if you look closely, you can see the 16th president. Doug Mudd, with the American Numismatic Association said, “It's officially a cent, but people call a penny. Why we call it that is because it used to English money."

But the possibility of retiring Abe's profile has many upset. Daniel Rizzo said, “It would be a shame to take it away." Robert Zyszczynski agreed, "A penny earned is a penny saved, old saying, it's tradition, keep tradition here." His son Krystian said, "Just keep it around; it’s fun to collect them."

While a select few argue that this 1/100 of a dollar isn't good for parking meters or even the vending machines. “Get rid of the penny...I always have useless pennies in pocket," Billy Cunningham said.

The money mints lose millions of dollars a year producing pennies because it costs more than a penny to make a penny, which could force them out of circulation. Mudd said, "We have to change prices. There won’t be $5.99 or $6.99; we’ll have to go to $2.95."

Money experts said it doesn't make any logical sense to keep one cent around. And soon, the penny may phase out and disappear.

The penny's future lies in the hands of Congress right now. The chance of it sticking around is about 50-50, like the flip of a coin.


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