The Penny Is Being Retired!

by The Happy Rock on April 1, 2009

penny-april-fools-retiredWith the soaring cost of gold and other precious metals,  the penny which has cost more than 1 cent to make for a few years is finally being retired.   A single penny which is 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper now costs almost 1.8 cents to produce in 2009.  It has been this way for years, but only recently has the cost of a penny risen to almost twice its worth.  The Obama administration has decided that removing the penny will be a simple cost cutting measure that will also be a boost to the economy and the exchange of money.

It just doesn’t make sense sense to carry around this antiquated banking holdover when our economy and inflation have rendered the penny meaningless.  Criminals are getting more value out of a penny by melting it down than the citizens who are wasting their valuable time fumbling with the useless coin.  In 2007 alone the federal mint produced 7.4 billion pennies and could have saved 74 million dollars had this measure been in place. – Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geitner

Merchants are being urged to start rounded prices up or down to the nearest nickel to prepare for the penny’s phase out which begins June 12, 2009.  The government has already stopped producing pennies and state governments will hold penny clean up locations on the third Saturday of every month.  The government will give the taxpayers 1.2 cents per penny that is returned.  This added stimulus will save the government in the long run and help stimulate the economy.  Next up is the nickel in 2010. The government expects to save almost 1 billion dollars as the cost to produce a nickel has risen over 8 cents.

I can’t really picture an economy without a penny or a nickel, but I can’t say I am sad.  I will make sure I have some on hand to make sure the transition goes well and for my scrapbook.  It is pretty funny to think we will be showing our children pennies in a decade  and they won’t even know that they exist.

Source : Fox News article about the cost of a penny

Notice the publish date – APRIL FOOLS’ DAY!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

PT Money April 1, 2009 at 1:35 am



Wojciech @ Fiscal Fizzle April 1, 2009 at 6:54 am

I second the comment above. :)


the weakonomist April 1, 2009 at 7:09 am

I might have believed it until you quoted Geithner. It’s not a Geithner quote until the underlying tone carries the scent of confusion and self doubt.


Miss Melbourne April 1, 2009 at 7:44 am

Just wanted to add that Australia eliminated it’s 1 cent and 2 cent(s) coins over 15 years ago, and introduced a 2 dollar(s) coin. This has made handling money much easier! You won’t even realise it’s gone after a while! But definitely hold onto some to show your kids and grandkids! Start collecting a range of dates/ages, so you can show them really old ones and new fresh off the mint ones too!


brainy April 1, 2009 at 8:04 am

You got me…

I was already brainstorming my next rant because of this post but now I’m cooling off…

Sadly, it’s only a matter of time before it’s reality.


speedy April 1, 2009 at 8:29 am

I wish it wasn’t a joke. Minting pennies is a waste of taxpayer money, and people who hoard them force the Treasury Dept. to mint more.


ed April 1, 2009 at 10:43 am

Thanks President Soetoro for taking care of our economy. Let me go out and check my tirepressure, while I still have a car.


Discover April 1, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Once inflation accelerates as a result of the current monetary policy you don’t need any coins, so they might as well start retiring the coins now.


ed April 2, 2009 at 9:59 am

If President Soetoro wants to save money here are some ideas:

Force all of his cabinet nominees to pay back taxes. I think that would generate a large sum.
Cut, Department of Education
Cut, Department of Commerce
Freeze government spending for one year.


Gypsie April 2, 2009 at 6:42 pm

I was stationed overseas for 5 years and while US currency was used on base, we did not have a penny. It cost too much to ship overseas. When you checked out from the Base Exchange the total was always rounded to the nearest nickle whether that was up or down. Honestly, it wont bother me to see the penny go.


john detitta April 3, 2009 at 9:17 am

Beautiful penny, one of my favorites.


Matt B/Financial Methods April 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm

It will be funny when all pennies are gone, but just think of how long it will take for them to REALLY be gone.


Matt April 5, 2009 at 9:02 pm

April Fools! Got me! I read this on April 5th and believed every word! I even told my wife what was coming. It only hit me five hours later than you had fooled your readers! Good one.


Ron Russell April 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Its not surprizing that the Obama administration would do away with the penny and eventually the nickel. The old saying, “a penny saved is a penny earned” obviously has no meaning who consumed with run-a-way spending. The penny will be missed—another tradition bits the dust under the heels of radical progressivism. With the merchants rounding up to the nearest nickel more and more money will go into the tax coffers. Doing away with the penny is just another way to raise taxes –disgusting. Most people just don’t have enouth senses to recognize this and they will have less “cents” tomorrow.


ed May 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Where did you get the idea that they are retiring the Penny? Just because it might be a good idea, isn’t enough reason to believe that this administration will to it. It doesn’t appear to me that cutting spending is on the agenda of this administration.
The Fox news article you linked to quotes Edmund Moy the Mint’s chairman: “People still want pennies, which is why we’re still making them.”

It doesn’t appear that there are any plans to retire the penny.


Jonathan@Friends&Money November 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm

In the UK we phased out larger coins for smaller ones. It’s always a shame when they decide to get rid of currency that you’ve been using for years… but I suppose that’s progress!


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