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 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 be 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 coin 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.