US President wants cheaper pennies and nickels

February 16th, 2012 - 8:22 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Los Angeles, Feb 16 (THAINDIAN NEWS) US President Barack Obama is seeking the permission to mint cheaper pennies and nickels. The President has petitioned US lawmakers to give him the permission to mint the pennies and nickels using cheaper metals than the current ones.

At the current state, it costs more to mint pennies and nickels than they are worth. CNN Money reports that it cost the US government 2.4 cents to make a penny while the cost of making a nickel is 11.2 cents.

The current metal used for the pennies and the nickels have been used for the past 30 years. Since 2010, the US Treasury has minted about 4.3 billion pennies and 914 million nickels. The extra cost for minting the coins add up to more than $100 million, CNN reports.

The pennies have been copper-plated since 1982. Most of the coin - about 97.5% - is made up of zinc. The nickel though has quite a higher amount of copper in it. It is made up of 75% copper and 25% nickel.

The US Treasury stopped making dollar coins last December. The administration estimates that the move will save the country about $50 million a year.

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