In August, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) emailed their membership to obtain their opinion as whether or not to eliminate the Lincoln Cent. The ANA was prompted to take this poll came after it was reported that the mint said that it cost more to mint the coin than its face value. The following was sent to members in the monthly “ANA September Newsletter” via email.


1,040 E-mails!

When the ANA asked members their opinions about the possible elimination of the United States one-cent coin, that’s just how many responses were received. The emails ranged from one-word “Yes” or “No’s” to passionate, detailed responses.

Overall, the respondents were evenly split on the issue. Below are a few excerpts from member responses:

  • I say keep the Penny. I think to get rid of it would precipitate creeping inflation in retail prices. – Wm Fulco
  • There is simply no point in maintaining the illusion that the cent is a useful component in commerce. It is now just a historic relic of America’s past.– David Lange
  • It is not possible to ever administer a sales tax without pennies…. There exists no paper or electronic substitute that will ever function in all areas especially rural except the penny. – John Parkyn
  • Yes, the cent should be retired…. The United States is far behind the international trend in adjusting our currency issues to the needs of the population. – Tom Maringer

Thank you to all of those who offered responses. The ANA will continue to ask for member opinions concerning a wide array of numismatic topics.

Interestingly, the uproar is centered around the price of the metal even though the report said that the rise was because of the production costs. Although the cost of copper did rise, the cent is made of 99.2-percent zinc and coated with eight-tenths percent copper. Should the economy change, including the cost of energy, would the production costs be lower?

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