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Thread: Pennies

  1. #1

    Default Pennies

    An article I saw on the web this week talked about how pennies were pretty worthless these days and how it costs more to produce a penny than it is worth.
    So this question or discussion is mostly for everyone in the European Monetary Union, the U.S., Canada, the UK and all other countries that have one cent or one penny coins:

    (I dug up all the cent/penny coins I could find from my coin colletion, including the Aussie 1 cent coin no longer in circulation)

    Should we stop using 1 cent / 1 penny coins altogether?

    I think y'all can guess my opinion: No, I want to keep my precious penny coins - they're inexpensive objects to collect, and it feels weird to buy an item for 1.99 and not receive a penny in change when paying with a 2 Euros coin.


  2. #2

  3. #3


    How do they give change for stuff that's .99?

    We could listen to the Monster Raving Loony party and introduce a 99p coin!

    I do hate pennies though, but I don't I'm ready for a world that can do without them.

  4. #4


    But we... need a penny, surely? Because without it, we wouldn't be able to pay for things with odd-numbered prices that aren't multiples of 5! With a penny you can somehow make every possible sum of money... but take it away and there are some sums of money you wouldn't be able to make! That'd just be... weird!

  5. #5


    As a coin dealer, I'll say this: Pennies these days, are about 80% copper or so, I'd have to check my book to say for sure though.. The remainder of that is to Nickel, and zinc. They really don't cost too much to produce, but they definently cost more than a cent.. Pennies from before 1982, were closer to 90% copper,(excluding the 1043 steel cent, of course.) and those are the ones I collect. I believe modern pennies should be made from stainless steel, just as they were in 1943. Cheaper that way..

    Ultimately though, pennies should keep getting prduced, If they stopped making them, there would a wierd gap in the coinage, and I believe it would cause problems. But, if they did stop producing them, I would be sitting on a gold mind of copper with my penny collection.
    Last edited by Drosera; 29-Feb-2008 at 03:59.

  6. #6


    Well, in Australia, all prices are rounded to the nearest 5 cents, as that is the lowest denomination.

    I think the way it generally goes is:

    1, 2 cents - Rounded down ($1.01, $1.02 becomes $1.00)

    3, 4, 6 cents - Rounded to the 5 cent mark ($1.03, $1.04, $1.06 become $1.05)

    7, 8, 9 cents - Rounded up ($1.07, $1.08, $1.09 become $1.10)

  7. #7


    Rounding up makes sense. As pennies become less and less relevant, people don't care about such small amounts of money anyway. Case in point, the reason the government hates me:

    ...whenever I have leftover change I save it, roll up and deposit nickels, dimes and quarters, and save the pennies. I have more kicking around somewhere too!

  8. #8


    i think the way australia does it makes sense: every price is divisible by 5 cents. the trouble with that is that in most parts of the US we charge sales tax on a lot of goods and services. that means that something can be priced at $3.50, but when they ring you up for it they'll add 8%. so almost everything you buy is going to wind up costing something weird like $3.78.

    the state of oregon doesn't charge sales tax, however, so in my opinion pennies are totally useless there. i think they should abolish them! i think when you cross the border you should be required to pull over so that they can search your car, and you'd be turned back if you were trying to smuggle any pennies into the state!

    i used to work at a farmer's market where we didn't charge any sales tax. every price was divisible by 5. it was so nice not having to deal with pennies! our cash register was broken and we had to count all the change in our heads, but it didn't even matter! it was easy!

  9. #9


    Well, here it's no trouble at all.

    Only the final cost get rounded, and a lot of our prices are already tax-included. So whatever the final amount says on the register, is the price that gets rounded. Because even here we sell stuff at amounts not divisible by 5. In your example, the $3.78 would get taken up to $3.80.

    Sometimes it can work in your favour, other times not. But I don't see anyone kicking up a storm over a few cents.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Chromos View Post
    As a coin dealer, I'll say this: Pennies should be made from stainless steel, just as they were in 1943. Cheaper that way..
    My opinion is to keep the penny coin denomination.

    Yep, Chromos, I've still got a bunch of wheat pennies that were in my dad's collection. Several of them are the war time steel pennies from 1943. I was in the second grade when the Lincoln Memorial pennies came into circulation and remember having them in change the first time to use for buying milk at school for lunch, which was 3 cents at the time.


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