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How Much More Life For The Lincoln Cent ?

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 Posted 12/14/2022  2:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add twslisa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What if there were a way to funnel out copper cents (some mechanical way to pull them out by weight, maybe) and return them to the Mint? Could they melt them down for the copper to reduce the amount of new copper they had to buy? Would it even be cost-effective? Maybe not, since they'd have to replace the coppers pulled out of circulation.

Wonder what it would do for those of us who have been hanging on to copper cents for no really good reason. LOL. It would certainly make coppers more rare pretty quickly.
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 Posted 12/14/2022  2:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
<broken record mode>

Even if the Mint got the copper/zinc/brass/steel (or whatever material) for free, they lose money with every cent. With free material, the blanks still need to be made (which is currently outsourced, so they have to pay that bill) and I believe even if the blanks came to the Mint for free... the presses, their maintenance, the people, the logistics, the power... still makes a cent cost more than a cent.

The only way we could keep a circulating cent "below cost" is if we got literal "pennies from heaven" sent straight into the cashier drawers without having to pay the middlemen.

I apologize if I sound angry, but this topic really grinds my gears.
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 Posted 12/14/2022  2:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add twslisa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I get you, jbuck. Just thinking of ways to maybe REDUCE the cost some. Since it seems highly unlikely we'll see the end of the Cent anytime soon.
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 Posted 12/14/2022  2:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Just thinking of ways to maybe REDUCE the cost some.
Some reduction is possible, but significant reduction that makes seigniorage from the cent possible again will not happen.
Quote:
Since it seems highly unlikely we'll see the end of the Cent anytime soon.
Unfortunately this is likely to be true. Coins as a money will probably disappear entirely before the cent stops circulating in the USA.

Congratulation to Canada! They figured out how to get rid of the circulating cent ten years ago! They also managed to get their one and two dollar coins circulating 35 and 26 years ago respectively. They are clearly the superior nation!
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 Posted 12/14/2022  3:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add datadragon to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Both the cent and 5 cent continue to run cost wise above face value and thats why the mint has been looking into alternatives for lowering costs by changing the composition of the coins rather than eliminating them. The cent change wont go below face value cost wise even if implemented. Thats the quick summary of what I posted above. One of the potential metallic alternatives for the 5-cent, dime and quarter dollar is even actually ready for implementation, pending congressional authorization.

The Fiscal Year 2020 costs were 1.76 cents for the Lincoln cent, 7.42 cents for the Jefferson 5-cent coin, 3.73 cents for the Roosevelt dime and 8.62 cents each for the America the Beautiful Quarter dollars.

Edited by datadragon
12/14/2022 3:01 pm
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 Posted 12/14/2022  3:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

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you still have intact gears?
Indeed. I row my own.

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 Posted 12/14/2022  7:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add n9jig to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Eliminate the cent, nickel and quarter. Reduce the size of the half dollar to roughly that of a nickel, create a $2 coin. Make the remaining coins plated steel (10c, 50c, $1, $2), each with a unique shape/edges (7-sided half, round plain end dime, reeded dollar, skip-reeded $2). Then eliminate the $1 and $2 bills. In 3-5 years create a $5 coin and eliminate the $5 bill.

As for coin designs, take the current designs and rotate them amongst the remaining coins. For 2025, the 10c has Lincoln, 50c has Jefferson, $1 has Roosevelt, $2 has Washington, then in 2026 the 10c has Kennedy, the 50c has Lincoln and so on). Alternately have half the dimes with Lincoln, half with Roosevelt, half the 50C with Kennedy, half with Washington, half the $1 with Sacagawea, half with Jefferson. The varying commemorative designs can be transferred to the $2 coin to increase awareness of it.

With purchasing power of the dollar roughly 10% of what it was in 1960, the dime can become the new "penny" without the stigma of a devaluation.

Of course this is all just a mental exercise as coins will become useless in a few years as card and electronic payments filter down to the smallest of purchases and even the unhomed and unbanked acquire electronic and card payment means. I fully expect the end of coins by the 2030's and the end of cash in all formats by the 2040's.
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 Posted 12/15/2022  10:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Eliminate the cent, nickel and quarter. Reduce the size of the half dollar to roughly that of a nickel, create a $2 coin...
I like how you are thinking here!


Quote:
With purchasing power of the dollar roughly 10% of what it was in 1960, the dime can become the new "penny" without the stigma of a devaluation.
Shifting the decimal point virtually.


Quote:
Of course this is all just a mental exercise as coins will become useless in a few years as card and electronic payments filter down to the smallest of purchases and even the unhomed and unbanked acquire electronic and card payment means. I fully expect the end of coins by the 2030's and the end of cash in all formats by the 2040's.
I would not bet against you.
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 Posted 12/15/2022  9:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NCCNeon to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Rounding of taxes goes beyond the 1/2 Cent. Just look at various taxes that are based on Mills. Property owners aren't charged $1000.0001, the figure is rounded according to the established rules to the Cent. Sales taxes are commonly calculated to where there would be fractional Cents, but the cash register handles the math.
If the Cent is dropped, it would be rounded to the next smallest denomination, the Nickel. Rounding is bidirectional, so the argument that you're going to be charged more by "rounding up" is not grounded in fact, nor in light of the way rounding works today.

IMO, the Nickel should be dropped too, making the Dime the smallest denomination coin in the USA. Negative seigniorage on the Cent and Nickel costs millions. With 4,920,000,000 Cents minted in 2022, at a cost of 2.41 each, that's a loss of $69 Million Dollars. The US Nickel at 11.18 per coin, and 1,047,360,000 produced in 2022, that's a negative seigniorage of almost $65 Million on Nickels.

Who pays for the loss? We all do. Who benefits? Producers of copper, nickel, and zinc.
I honestly can't remember the last time I paid for anything with part of the price being in Cents. I'm certain it's been a couple decades. Unless I suspect they're 95% copper, I walk past them in the parking lot.
And, it has been estimated that every year, millions of Cents are intentionally, deliberated, literally, thrown in the trash. Cents that cost a couple Cents each to mint.
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 Posted 12/15/2022  10:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In not too distant future we may be bartering with our neighbors, and the tribes and clans the next ridge over--those that are friendly that is.. Chickens, potatoes, alcohol, you name it.
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 Posted 12/16/2022  10:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One thing regarding rounding... most businesses will likely round everything down for cash payments. Why? Because even with the accumulated "loss" for rounding down they saved more from not paying electronic transaction processing fees.

Home Depot made a point to say it will round down sales (and round up returns) when Canada dropped the cent.
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 Posted 12/16/2022  3:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jeffbuckes to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
One thing regarding rounding... most businesses will likely round everything down for cash payments. Why? Because even with the accumulated "loss" for rounding down they saved more from not paying electronic transaction processing fees. Home Depot made a point to say it will round down sales (and round up returns) when Canada dropped the cent.


Yes, jbuck, has the answer...!

Congress won't act first, but if enough businesses, big and small, enacted the "ROUND DOWN" policy on cash payments then eventually (10 years at least?) reduced demand for the penny could incite Congress to get rid of the penny. But the key, as @JBuck said, is to round down on cash payments. Charge to the cent on credit and electronic payments if you want, but round down on cash payments and nobody can argue against that!

PS: I am a HUGE fan of the penny, or one-cent coin as we call it, BUT even I agree it's time to go. If nothing else, the Zincoln is an environmental disaster (but I'll forego that discussion).
Edited by jeffbuckes
12/16/2022 3:22 pm
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