U.S. Penny to Be Kept as Canada Bids Coin Farewell
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and Robin Gradison report:
These days a penny made is a penny wasted.
Thanks primarily to rising costs of zinc – the main material in a penny – the U.S. Mint now spends 2.4 cents to make a penny.
Just last year, the U.S. mint made 4.9 billion pennies. It doesn’t add up: That’s $118 million to make just $49 million worth of pennies.
No wonder Canadian government announced this week that they doing away with the Canadian penny.
But here in America, the penny doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
It’s not that powerful people have tried to nix the penny.
Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson tried to eliminate it in 2008.
The current Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner told Congress earlier this week that something has to be done about the sky-rocketing costs of making U.S. coins. And it’s not just the penny: the lowly nickel costs 11.18 cents to make.
“Currently, the costs of making the penny and the nickel are more than twice the face value of each of those coins,” Geithner said in his remarks.
By comparison, the dime (which costs 5.65 cents to mint) and the quarter (11.14 cents) are relative bargains.
The U.S. Mint, at the request of Congress, will soon make recommendations on reducing the cost of making coins.