The United Kingdom parliament recently considered doing away with copper coinage in the form of its penny and two pence coins. This initiative was rejected, but is nonetheless sparking a debate in the United States over the status of its penny.
Philip N Diehl, who is president of the US Reserve and who used to be directer of the US Mint, discussed the subject of decommissioning the penny in an interview on CNN. That interview can be accessed at the US Money Reserve Website, usmoneyreserve.com. Just enter the word “penny” in the search bar and click search. The interview is called “demise of the penny?”.
Historically, the penny was the very first coin issued by the US Mint. This coin has featured the profile of Abraham Lincoln since 1908. Originally the penny coin was 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc. Read more: US Money Reserve | Manta and US Money Reserve | BizJournals
Now that percentage is 97.6 percent zinc and 2.4 percent copper. Since most zinc is imported from China, that importation accounts for about 2.1 million of our already large trade deficit with China and is an argument in itself for scuttling the penny.
Also, the penny is not currently popular with that segment of the public that conducts its transaction in cash, which is only about a third of all transactions. Commonly the penny is left in tip jars or saved in penny jars or piggy banks. People do not want to mess with such an insignificant currency.
Of course, the penny does have its proponents. The main organization arguing for keeping the penny is, Americans for Common Cents. This organization cites polls that are pro the penny. They cite the economic flexibility that the penny offers.
They also see virtue in the penny being used for charitable purposes. Also the company that makes blanks for the US Mint are pro penny. The Illinois delegation to Congress also likes the penny due to the profile of Abe Lincoln.
Still, according to to Mr Diehl the penny costs about twice to make than what it is worth. Please visit the US Money Reserve Website as noted above for more information. While there check out the Gold and Silver coins that one can purchase.
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