In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

  • Mood:

A penny saved

is almost more than a penny earned if raw metal prices keep rising.

A Penny for Your Thoughts, and 1.4 Cents for the Penny


WHAT happens if a penny is worth more than 1 cent?

That is an issue the United States Mint could soon face if the price of metals keeps rising. Already it costs the mint well more than a cent to make a penny.

This week the cost of the metals in a penny rose above 0.8 cents, more than twice the value of last fall. Because the government spends at least another six-tenths of a cent — above and beyond the cost of the metal — to make each penny, it will lose nearly half a cent on each new one it mints.

The real problem could come if metals prices rise so high that it would be economical to melt down pennies for the metals they contain.

Appearances aside, pennies no longer contain much copper. In the middle of 1982, after copper prices rose to record levels, the mint starting making pennies that consist mostly of zinc, with just a thin copper coating.

But these days, zinc is newly popular. Rising industrial demand and speculation have sent the price rocketing. Since the end of 2003, zinc prices have tripled. Gold, by contrast, is up only about 50 percent.

Nice. If you happen to just have an industrial sized smelter in your garage or something, get ready to order a billion or so pennies from your local bank so you can melt them down. Considering the equipment and the massive amount of weight involved for transport, I doubt it's going to become economically feasable to melt the suckers down anytime soon, even if you doubled the current cost of zinc.

Still, it would be nice to see steel pennies again. They made them for a time during WWII when there was a zinc shortage and I always though they looked pretty spiffy. Chances are it was just a novelty effect though. No matter what they do, something should be shifted. It dosen't make much sense to spend 1.6 cents to make a cent.
Tags: news

  • Cheer up, the worst is yet to come

    Being alone with fear can rapidly turn into panic. Being alone with frustration can rapidly turn into anger. Being alone with disappointment can…

  • Hello darkness, my old friend

    Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking…

  • Grrrr *grumble* *grumble*

    I've been having a really bad several days lately. It's sort of amazing when you think about it how a little thing can completely throw off how you…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded