I wrote recently about the pragmatic value in stopping making the penny. I stated there that, as I had heard many years ago, the penny costs 1.6 cents to make. Well, that was out of date! I just discovered that the current figure is over 2.4 cents! See the article here:
Also, according to that article, the nickel costs over 11 cents to make. And the total losses last year in making pennies and nickels was $116 million. It’s become much worse in the past year because of the soaring cost of the raw metals, but the raw material is only part of the cost. The labor, shipping, etc. to make them domestically must be very expensive as well. But that cost, and the profits that are going to somebody, must be the reason we’re still paying to make them.
By the way, I’ve seen articles on the internet say that the “penny” should properly be called the “cent”, but I disagree. No one says the “nickel” should be called the “five cents”. A “cent” is an amount of money. A “penny” is a coin. If I have 10 cents I may have 10 pennies, or I may have a dime coin or $0.10 in my bank account. The word “penny” is hundreds of years old and is used also in the UK and the major British Commonwealth countries. It’s not slang. Maybe is just sounds too cute — it is a woman’s name after all — to be a word used in legal documents. But that’s what the coin valued at one cent is called.