When it comes to making coins, the Mint isn't getting its two cents worth. In some cases, it doesn't even get half of that. A penny costs more than two cents and a nickel costs more than 11 cents to make and distribute. The quandary is how to make coins more cheaply without sparing our change's quality and durability, or altering its size and appearance.The metals that have the ideal list of attributes for circulating money are now considered "precious" and far too rare to serve as coin of the realm. Is there reason for pause or concern now that copper and nickel are becoming precious metals compared to the purchasing power of the US dollar?
Evaluations of 29 different alloys concluded that none met the ideal list of attributes. The Treasury Department concluded that additional study was needed before it could endorse any changes.
It is only a matter of time until we follow Canada's lead and create steel (or other alloy) nickels and the eliminate pennies.