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Do Away With The Penny

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

One question now that has continued to be asked: shouldn't America do away the Penny? And the answer, for our purposes at least is a yes. Just as a reminder, the Penny is the coin you keep in an old dusty jar in your basement that you have literally never and will never use. But to learn more you must go back to the origins of the Penny. The story of the penny began in 1787, when there was a One Cent Piece produced, in a different form than ours obviously, and at that point you could buy lots of smaller items with a penny. This lasted for a while until in 1837, when the realization was made that pennies buying power was going down, and coppers value was going up, so Pennies lost their 100% copper amount and became about 75% copper, and by the year 2020, they are only 2.5% Copper and that has taken away some of their value, with Zink being the majority of the Penny. It was also around this time that the ½ cent was done away with, and since that was discontinued at a point when it had larger value then the 10 cent piece does now, it raises the question: should we get rid of the Penny, Nickel, and the Dime? I was also around the 1830s in American history that people began to melt down 1 cent pieces and use them for greater value, and around this time the United States Government blocked the meltdown of pennies and the 1 cent piece remained in use, with an acceptable amount of buying power until 1971, in which after, Pennies values slowly decreased, until the price of producing the Penny cost greater than the Penny itself.

You see, what you have to remember is the Penny is worth 1 cent, however, it costs 1.8 cents to make a Penny, meaning literally every Penny produced by the government makes the government actually lose money. So when you put it into perspective, the U.S. makes 13 billion pennies each year, meaning the mint is losing $69 Million Dollars, which means the mint loses 189,041 every day. The only people benefiting from pennies is a Zinc company in Utah. Another thing to think about is that when Abraham Lincoln died, a Penny was worth a twenty-sixth more than it is now. With Nickels it is even worse with a dime being worth 5 cents and the cost 9 cents to make. So the question remains: why don’t we just do away with the Penny since they are alone worth plastic or lint, and really there is no actual answer to this.

Logistically speaking, the Penny has no buying power, and there are many countries that have already done away with the Penny, one of the most notable for anyone in the U.S. being Canada, which did away with the penny in 2012, and the way they did it can serve as a model to the U.S. as well. Canada simply stopped printing the Penny, and although it can still be used, if it is used, the shop keeper or business receiving trades it into the government who melt them down. Since Canada’s situation with the Penny was the same as the U.S’ it shows accurately that pennies will not negatively affect the economy when subtracted from the mint. Also, one argument is the very exact cents in certain products, which Canada also solved by simply just rounding to the nearest cent cost in amounts when paying with costs, and they will do exact change for anything you pay on your card with. When you consider that, and the fact that there are about a hundred pennies in your house subtracted from the economy that hold no value and haven’t affected how the economy runs it makes sense. To put it into perspective, one item that once cost a penny is a pack of Bubble Gum, now it would take 100-600 pennies which is way over a pound. Another thing for you to think about is the fact that pennies have the same value as lint from your drier.

But what do you think? When was the last time you used a penny? Let us know in the comments or by emailing us at

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