Should the Penny be Eliminated? 6


This is a question the US has been determining for decades. Do we really need a cent coin anymore? Let’s find out.

Other US Determinations that have Come and Gone

  • Half Cent – So far, this is the lowest circulated denomination that existed in the United States. It was minted in Philadelphia from 1793 to 1857. Even though it was the smallest denomination, it was almost as big as a quarter. As the nation grew, it was determined that anything less than a cent wasn’t really needed. Once removed the cent was reduced in size close to what you see today.
  • Two Cent – With the Civil War in full force, coins were being hoarded  Two Cent including the Indian Cent. In 1864, two changes were made. First thing was removing the nickel content from the Indian Cent making it thinner. The second change was adding a two cent piece. Popular the first few years, it would be overshadowed by the new three cent nickel and nickel coins. The last two cent pieces were minted in 1873.
  • Three Cent – In 1851, the price of cents went down from 5 cents to 3. In response, the Three Cent Silver piece was introduced with 75% silver so they wouldn’t be melted. By 1854, they would be 90% silver like the other silver coins. With people hoarding silver coins during the Civil Way, a Three Cent Nickel piece would beThree Cent Nickel released in 1865. Along with the Two Cent piece, it would be discontinued in 1873. The Three Cent Nickel would be reduced in mintage during 1870’s and 1880’s as it was never considered a permanent coin. 1889 would be its final year.
  • Half Dime – Originally known as the half disme, the Half Dime was the first coinHalf Dime minted in the new United States in 1792. In 1866, the first nickels were released which would be the beginning of the end for the half dime. The mint stopped producing half dimes in 1873.
  • Twenty Cent – In 1875, the US mint started producing Twenty Cent pieces. This coin didn’t last too long because of its similarity to the quarter. It would be discontinued in 1878 with only proof issues in 1877 and 1878.

Canada no Longer has the Cent

2012 was the last year of the Canadian cent after it was determined that it would cost 1.6 cents to produce and less and less people were using them.

Copper is on the Rise

With the rise in the price of copper in the 1970s, the composition of the cent would be change to reduce the copper content from 95% to 2.5% in mid-1982. In the place of copper would be 97.5% zinc. Even with the reduction of copper, it was determined in 2013 that the cent would cost 1.83 cents to produce.

Everything would have to be Rounded to the Nickel

Everyone would have to readjust: companies, government, those TV commercials and infomercials that can’t use $19.99 anymore. Even sales tax would have to adjust to no longer round to the penny anymore.

Modern Cents are not worth Collecting

Is a penny saved really a penny earned? With billions of cents coming out every year, it’s not even worth collecting them unless you want to do a complete Lincoln Cent collection. Zinc cents lose their luster quicker than the Copper Cents.

Do you Think the US should keep Minting US Cents?

Can you live without any new cents coming out? It could happen someday as metal prices are on the rise.

You can always collect Lincoln Wheat Cents.

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6 thoughts on “Should the Penny be Eliminated?

  • Kelli

    Wow, interesting content. And the graphics of the coins do a lot for the page as well.

    I love the historical tidbits. They’re informative and add more dimension than the usual “pennies are obnoxious, let’s get rid of them” sites and articles. The technical information was great as well. How much does it cost to make a penny? More than a penny is worth.

    The informations is nicely displayed, easy to read, and there are no questions about changes in information. the headings for each section and clear, and the bullets make them even better.

    • Kevin Post author

      Thank you for the great comment Kelli! I like to try to give a little more than an opinion. There are reasons to get rid of the penny as well as reasons to keep it. I like history also, and try to add it in when I can.

  • Dr Ondria

    Though there are some word misspellings on the site the history lessons on the coins were fascinating. I was interested in collecting as a hobby because of my dad’s interest in coins.
    Your section on coins for investing was fascinating as well because this is actually how my interest grew.
    Very well structured, content rich site and the reader if a novice like me will learn something.

    • Kevin Post author

      Glad you liked my site! I try to go through my posts as best as I can, but I’m sure I do miss something. If you have seen misspellings, please let me know where and I’ll correct them. I want to keep this site informative and with fewer errors. Thanks!

  • Andrea

    I live in Canada and we no longer have a penny. It kind of bothered me at first, because I like to use pennies to make exact change when I pay for something. I felt like I was loosing money when I had to pay for something and had to round up. It doesn’t make any difference for most people because so many of us pay with debit cards.

    Supposedly not producing the penny has saved the Canadian government a lot of money, so I guess it makes sense to do it.

    • Kevin Post author

      I’m sure there would be some adjustments to go through, but you are right. With more people using debit and credit cards, it may not even matter.