By gc on Aug 17, 2007
Everyone knows that a penny is an one cent coin. But do you know its metal content and the cost of making a penny.
25 years ago, pennies were made of copper. Due to the soaring demand that caused a surge in the price of copper, the U.S. Mint decided to switch to zinc. Now, the price of zinc is soaring again. At 2006, making 1 penny costs 1.2 cent, and it rise to 1.7 cent per penny in 2007. It will quickly go over 2 cents. That will be a big burden to U.S. Treasure.
Pennies of Canada, UK and Europe are made from steel, which is roughly 5 times less expensive than zinc. We will expect to see new U.S. pennies made from steel, or some kind of metal compositions, like copper-plated steel, or copper-plated aluminum. Or another alternative is to go penniless - asking retailers to round off cash transactions to the nearest nickel. That is very common to lots of developing countries.
Each year, there are about 8 billion new pennies placed into circulation. The sole supplier of U.S. pennies is Jarden Zinc Products Corp.