Death of the penny?

If the U.S. government has it way, the penny might soon be history. Last week, a bill was introduced to pull the penny from circulation by “rounding all transactions up or down to the nearest nickel” (scoop – mostly up!). According to the United States Mint, one penny now costs 1.4 cents to make, and producing and handling pennies costs the US about $900 million a year.

Once again, the bill is considered to have only a slim chance of passing. My colleagues tell me the penny debate surfaces ever so frequently but loses steam quickly too, so there isn’t much threat to the copper-coated coin. However, should the penny meet its fate this time, Minneapolitans can save theirs for posterity by making a quick stop at the Mall. Here’s how:

Outside the MoA Gift Store on the 3rd level (take the stairs down from AMC and you’ll see it) is a machine that can emboss pennies with the MoA logo and crank them out in 4-5 different shapes for a couple quarters. I thought that was quite cool and got my personal MoA penny made. So, go ahead, take your pennies to the mall and bring back a fun, lasting memento.

Pennies also came to my rescue at a Family Dollar in Bloomington this week. I realized they don’t accept my bank’s cards, and I had just enough cash to cover my purchases…a couple pennies short. Out they came from the penny jar lying by the cash register and in they went. Kind lady at the counter. Unusual.

So there…any other ideas of what you could do with the coppers before they’re out of circulation for good?

9 Comments so far

  1. Steve (unregistered) on July 27th, 2006 @ 10:17 pm

    Actually according to THOMAS the rounding is evenly dispersed. 1, 2 & 6, 7 round down. 3, 4 & 8, 9 round up. 0 & 5 stay the same.

    Still, I’m glad. It’s not like Congress has anything more important to debate. ;-)

    Here’s the whole bill text

  2. Joe (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 8:39 am

    Are you saying that flag burning amendments are NOT more important than Bushco’s illegal war, torture policy and domestic spying programs?

  3. Joe (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 8:41 am


    Seriously, start watching those guys. They voted down a minimum wage increase and then gave themselves a raise…typical.

  4. Erica (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 11:07 am

    And when all else fails… GAY MARRIAGE!!!

  5. Dave (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 11:32 am

    Down with the penny! Sorry, I just hate change.

  6. Erica (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 11:50 am

    In Australia and New Zealand (and, I presume some other countries that I haven’t been to), the bills are made of some kind of plastic fiber, so you can’t tear them. I imagine those would be a whole lot harder to counterfeit and also last a lot longer so we wouldn’t have to spend so much destroying old ones and making new ones. Plus, the different denominations are different lengths so the blind can tell them apart. Pretty sweet.

    And they don’t have pennies, either.

  7. Heather K (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

    All this talk about pennies brings back a memory. When I was a kid, my mom would give us each a dollar and we’d walk to the corner market on West 7th Street to buy penny candy…I miss penny candy!

    I’m a dork, I know.

  8. Joe (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

    I miss penny candy too!

  9. Greg (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 1:26 pm

    Penny candy? OMG, what are you , like 75? haha..just kidding. Actually, I’m anti-change completely. In fact, I rarely even carry cash. The goverment should tag on some legislation mandating credit card slots on all vending machines, at all cash-only parking ramps and bars, etc. No use in carrying around funds you could lose. Just using an ATM card is much easier, safer and would save everyone the hassle of currency exchange when traveling to the states.

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