US Mint Lost $69M Making Pennies Last Year

It cost $0.0182 to make each one
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2018 2:48 PM CDT
US Mint Lost $69M Making Pennies Last Year
   (Getty Images / Tom Hardwick)

It costs more than a penny to make a penny. The US Mint produced more than 8.4 billion of the one-cent coins last year, at a cost of $0.0182 each with production costs and shipping taken into account. That means $69 million was lost when compared to the pennies' total value, Quartz reports, the biggest loss in nine years. That's probably because zinc (pennies are made mostly of zinc, with a small amount of copper) has been rising in price. Nickels, which are worth five cents, cost seven cents each to make, but dimes and quarters cost less than their value to produce, which ends up making up for the losses associated with pennies and nickels. Even so, petitions abound on the internet to abolish the penny and nickel. (Read more US Mint stories.)

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