"Zinc lobby" preventing retirement of penny

New Zealand got rid of the 1¢, 2¢, and 5¢ coins about ten years ago, and it’s worked out just fine for them. Everything’s rounded down to the nearest 10¢. Easy.


For comparison, I could mention that in Norway, we’ve had the system that 1 krone = 100 øre since 1876. When I was born, we still had 1 øre coins, but they were removed in 1972. The last remaining “øre” coin, the 50, was taken out of circulation in 2012. It still exists in prices and electronic money transfers, but in cash we always round to the nearest krone.

The current exchange rate is approximately 8 kroner to the dollar, so our lowest coin is worth about 12 cents. Why you’d still need coins worth 1/12 of that, I can’t imagine.


I remember that episode. US bills, they say last longer than just about any other country’s bills, but they didn’t mention that many countries are moving to polymer-based currency, which is way more durable than US bills.


I bet there’s a lobby against getting rid of the $1 bill too. Whatever company makes money from the printing of bills (follow the money!) has got a LOT to lose if we get rid of good ol’ George. I bet 20% of bills printed are $1 bills.

Here in Southern California we have take a penny leave a penny trays — many of them commercially made, with attached advert space — that take care of that problem. Just dump your pennies in the tray.

I’ve also seen many merchants who have these little trays make a sale like, say, $5.03, and if I only have folding money, they just take the .03 or whatever from the tray and give me change in even dollars.

So really, pennies have already become mostly optional around here. Can’t vouch for the rest of the country, but those little trays are pretty ubiquitous here.


“You can’t take my pennies or my incandescent bulbs”.

As others have mentioned, we got rid of the penny here, and I do miss it… because I occasionally enjoy coin-stacking (as seen on this site: http://www.fincher.org/Misc/Pennies/Sent.shtml, although mine tend to be less complex than some of the ones featured on this site), and while you certainly can do it with nickels or dimes, it obviously costs a lot more to put together a decent structure.

#refuse money

Good luck convincing people to do that.

Actually, ironically that’s kinda my day job :slight_smile:

There’s a zinc lobby? A clay lobby, sure.


What - did people used to eat the food just right off the table if it wasn’t a special occasion?

Nickels is money too.

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You’re in charge of hiring interns?

I used to sell lottery tickets, but that was more about throwing money away.


Rounding has ALWAYS been in the system. You just aren’t aware of it because the price you’re asked to pay is rounded to the nearest 1/100th of a dollar. Ever buy a gallon of gas? They don’t really expect you to pay to the exact tenth of a cent.


So you’re saying that gas stations are stealing from me and I should just go take a candy bar? Because that’s my takeaway.


I know it’s everybody’s first instinct to jump on the zinc lobby in this story, but, try, if you will, to imagine… a world WITHOUT Zinc…


There was an Andy Rooney where he wondered about the 9/10 of a cent. He went to a gas station, bought one gallon which cost $1.599, and the cashier said “that’ll be $1.60.” Rooney then argued that they were overcharging him and he wanted his 9/10 of a cent back. Etc.

Always the hard hitting journalism from Andy Rooney.

And, 1/10th of a cent.