Melting coins is now super-illegal


Originally published at:


That’s why I have all my money invested in coins squished by trains.


Or we could just phase out the penny like we should have done decades ago.

Stupid zinc lobby.


As copper got more valuable, the Mint changed pennies from being an alloy that was mostly copper to zinc with copper cladding in '83. '82 and earlier pennies do have a metal value that’s slightly more than one cent, though current ones aren’t close.

Nickels are a copper/nickel alloy, but their melt value’s never gotten near their face value.


@falcor - I think this thread is pre-decimalisation.


There are penny hoarders around the country who have machines that can automatically sort the older pennies from the new. They’ve been stockpiling the copper ones for years in anticipation of the day when America comes to its senses and lets them reclaim the metal.


If history is any indication, I don’t expect it to work out that way.


I don’t think either the official or unofficial rationale for that Executive order applies to copper pennies though. Our currency isn’t backed by copper, and hoarding pennies has a negligible effect on the economy because they’re basically worthless garbage that everyone hates.

The US Mint stopped producing the half cent in 1857, when it was worth what a dime is worth today and when the penny was worth almost as much as a quarter is now. We could ditch the three smallest denominations of US currency without having much of an impact on how people spend money. (How often do we need to buy something worth less than a quarter?)


We just need to make our coins out of something more worthless. I call for the return of the wooden nickel.


I love them!   A copper washer costs 5¢, but I can pick up pennies off the street and drill holes through them.


OK, let me rephrase: they’re basically worthless garbage that everyone hates as a form of legal tender.


Oh, yeah, they are maddeningly, cumbersomely useless as money.

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