The Case Against the Penny

About a hundred years ago, the U.S. penny was worth as much as the quarter is today. But these days, you can barely do anything with one cent. So, why do we still have it? Here's the case against the penny: It costs more to make than it's worth -- production costs about 1.8 cents. The penny is impractical -- it takes time to dig out of a wallet and adds weight to your purse. Plenty of other countries, including Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Brazil, have removed their one-cent pieces. The U.S. has even discontinued a coin before when the value was too low: the half-cent, which was discontinued in 1857.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The United States Mint manufactures 4 million pennies every year. 00:38

  2. Twenty dollars worth of pennies would weigh roughly 11 pounds. 01:31

  3. New Zealand, Australia, Finland, and the Netherlands have all discontinued their one-cent coins. 02:54

Written by Curiosity Staff May 13, 2016

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