Each penny costs one-and-a-half cents to make
The penny was once again a money-loser for the U.S. government this year.
It cost one-and-a-half cents to produce each one-cent coin in fiscal year 2016, The Wall Street Journal reports.
That’s about the same as last year.
According to CNN, U.S. Mint facilities in Denver and Philadelphia produced 9.16 billion pennies in 2015. That’s more than the number of nickels, dimes and quarters combined.
more than the nickel (1.48 billion), dime (2.87 billion) and quarter (2.65 billion) combined.
The government and U.S. Mint have been seeking ways to lower production costs on the copper-coated zinc coin.
In 1982, the composition was switched from 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc to 2.5 percent copper and 97.5 percent zinc.
The WSJ quoted a 2014 report to Congress as stating, “There are no alternative metal compositions that reduce the manufacturing unit cost of the penny below its face value.”
The Mint also loses money on nickels, but does make money on the dime and quarter. The Mint produced 2.87 billion dimes and 2.65 billion quarters in 2015.