Current Weather
The Spy FM

Obama Seeks To Change Change; Shift Looms For Pennies And Nickels

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
February 15, 2012

The Obama administration has already reined in production of $1 coins. Now it’s looking to give the Treasury more leeway in minting some coins that have gotten more expensive than their face value — specifically, pennies and nickels.

Those provisions are in President Obama’s proposed 2013 budget, under a section titled “Increased Flexibility for the U.S. Mint in Coinage.”

The 2012 model penny is made up of 97.5 percent zinc, and 2.5 percent copper. This year’s nickel is 25 percent nickel; the rest is made of copper.

And you’ve likely heard — or experienced for yourself — that copper prices have been on a tear; zinc has also risen.

“This contributes to volatile and negative margins on both the penny and nickel,” according to the White House budget. “Recently, the penny has cost approximately 2.4 cents, and the nickel approximately 11.2 cents to produce.”

The Mint will need some time to research the best alternatives, according to administration documents.

Still, the Treasury will have a hard time making pennies pay for themselves, according to CNN Money’s Chris Isidore. As he notes, “the administrative cost of minting 4.3 billion pennies costs almost a half-cent per coin by itself, leaving precious little room to make a penny for less than a cent, no matter the raw material used.” [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center