Eliminate the U.S. Penny?

by CoinNews.net on December 5, 2007 · 2 comments

Should small change be eliminated?Take the new two-click poll on the CoinNews website asking that very question (found in the upper right). Surprisingly, at least so far, results have been close to evenly mixed.

Compared to the U.S., interesting and different dynamics are in play with other countries and their small change. Several countries are actually suffering through serious coinage shortages due to hoarding.

Two countries in particular, Argentine and China, have experienced an up tick in entrepreneur-like activity where people find and resell small change – for a profit – to businesses or individuals who are experiencing shortages.

Then there are countries who have had too much change in circulation and have recently abandoned their smallest denomination, as it became more of an annoyance or too costly to produce.

The U.S. appears to be in a unique position with no clear direction for its smallest coin. Some say there are too many pennies and want to melt them for their copper value while others want to protect them. Some want to eliminate the penny completely while there’s actually a new law that will commemorate Lincoln with a new penny with fresh designs starting in 2009.

Given politicians have to agree to make any major decisions with coinage, if the public is split in regards to the future of the penny, we’re not likely to see significant changes to its destination any time soon.

The CoinNews poll will close on 12/9 after midnight.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Seth Itzkowitz October 10, 2008 at 12:05 am

Definitely keep the penny, but moreover as the smallest unit of monetary measure in the U.S. is the mil, it should be minted too!

Cody Frommelt December 27, 2008 at 3:54 pm

There is no reason to keep the penny. The supporters of the penny cite the nonissue of prices rising and inflation increasing. Other nations show us that inflation is not impacted and we could follow the Czechs by rounding or rounding down at the register. The only other reason is the fact that Lincoln has his face plastered on here and people don’t want him removed, his face is plastered on both sides of the five dollar bill people. THe penny and nickel cost the government over $100 million a year and increasing not including the shipping and processing costs of the coins and the inconvenience to sellers and consumers who either are weighed down by these worthless coins, spend them so they don’t recieve any more or just toss them in the take a penny leave a penny jars. I say we should toss the penny and nickel, come out with cheaper ten, twenty, and fifty cent, and a smaller one dollar coin as this would bring the U.S. into the twenty-first century.

Leave a Comment