U.S. Nickel worth more than a nickel again

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Phil Ham, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Well-Known Member

    The mint is apparently exploring some new alloy options. None are expected to make a significant price difference per nickel, but even a tiny savings per unit would add up pretty quickly.


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  3. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    And then the mint has to replace the disappearing coins which means even greater mintages and higher losses.

    And has been for over 10 years. The article title in the link is misleading so far none of the alloys would allow them to strike the cent or five cent profitably. The best was the 80/20 alloy which let the five cent be made at a cost of 4.96 cents each but that was before the recent rise in metal costs.

    Yes there would be a savign per coin from what it costs now, but they would still be made at a loss.
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  4. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    they could do steel planchets and copper plate, or nickel plate them and it would be cheaper than the current costs they way they are doing it, even under the face value of them.

    in the end they make a killing on the dime and quarter, it's of course something to discuss, but it's not really important, they make plenty off the other two to make the cent and nickel at a loss. Which is why it's not changing.

    and yes, I think a copper electroplated steel cent would be better than the old Steel cents that were zinc galvanized, and likely last longer than the zincolns.

    Steel cores make both denominations profitable.
  5. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    It would probably hold up better than Zincolns -- that's a super-low bar. But it's still a bad design, because you've got the less active metal on the outside and the more active one on the inside. If that copper coating has a scrape or crack or pinhole that exposes the steel underneath, it'll accelerate the rusting of that steel core.

    Or we could acknowledge the reality that one cent is a silly and pointless denomination for a modern coin, and stop making them. If you really need an excuse to spend more time interacting with the cute checkout person, write a check. :rolleyes:
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  6. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    Yeah but that was my point, it's still better than the zinc core that's currently used, and it's cheaper.
    Steel is like $600 a metric ton, Zinc is like $2600 per metric ton. not like we use phones or vending machine or much of anything that requires any change anymore besides cash sales , even parking meters take debit cards or dollars. good design, bad design, Not my problem really, it's just a quarter of the cost for the core material, all other costs would be the same.

    I'll never agree to stop making the cent, how about everyone else agrees to stop inflating the value of fiat currency. 1 cent in 1800 had the buying power of like $3.00 today, let's just go back to that instead! LOL
  7. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    And then we can argue about whether the minimum wage should be 2.5 or 5 cents an hour.

    I think your figures are off anyhow, I see a price list from 1808 that has eggs at 12 cents a dozen, cheese at 10 cents a pound -- and a carpenter earning $1.00 per day. I'll take today's prices at today's wages, thanks, much though I'd love yesterday's prices at today's wages.

    And I'm glad I'm not trying to make a living by selling eggs, which have gone up only 10-fold while wages have gone up closer to 100x...
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  8. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Yes they could make them out of plated steel, in fact that is one of the things they have been studying for the past ten year. But there are problems. The steel doesn't strike up as well. And the mint is really trying to come up with compositions that could be "seamlessly introduced". In other words they need to be able to work in counting and sorting machines, and in vending machines without requiring more than the slightest modifications. Plated steel coins can't do that either because they are magnetic (they can use non-magnetic steel alloys) but the real problem is the lower density that would result in coins of the same size being significantly lower in weight. That could be corrected by increasing either the diameter or the thickness of the coins, but then they wouldn't be interchangeable with the current coins.

    And while they MIGHT be cheaper than the current five cent the one cent would still be made at a loss because the current manufacturing expense not including materials is currently 1.1 cents apiece. So even if the metal was free the cents would still be made at a loss. What they need is a metal available in multi ton lots at a cost of less than zero dollars per pound.

    Or they have to give up the idea of seamless introduction and minimal cost to adapt machines.
  9. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    MERCURY AND LEAD! People pay every day, through the NOSE, to get those hauled away! Plus, if coins are made of something awful, people will be more inclined to spend them instead of hoarding them, improving the velocity of money. Everybody wins!
  10. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    yeah, you are right, I don't know why I never thought about it before, They should switch to depleted uranium, then no need for social security or medicare, nobody will make it that far!
  11. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    Yea but
  12. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    Hey. These cents mean something special. Penny candy rent fares etc.
  13. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    Don’t want anymore steal cents.
  14. Phil Ham

    Phil Ham Hamster

    Copper and nickel are still rising. Here is the impact on intrinsic value:

    Copper Cent: USD$0.0267820
    Nickel: USD$0.0571857
  15. quartertapper

    quartertapper Numismatist

    I have been coin collector and numismatist for some 34 years. As much as I would hate to see the one cent denomination eliminated, and the five cent coin revamped and/or reduced in size, I really think it is time. The stubborn, old fashioned thinking that continues to make decisions at the U.S. Mint needs to be phased out. It is that same thinking that continues to produce paper dollars with hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollar coins sitting in warehouses waiting for their turn in vending machines and Post Offices. Just saying...
  16. Phil Ham

    Phil Ham Hamster

    The Zincoln is still less than intrinsic value at USD$0.007514. Eliminating the cent will have a much bigger impact on inflation than its loss to the treasury. Thus, I would not eliminate the penny. I would consider a new composition of the nickel. We should never allow our currency to exceed the intrinsic value.
  17. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Could you expand on this?
  18. Phil Ham

    Phil Ham Hamster

    My answer from February 2013 is still germane today.

    We shouldn't kill the cent for two reasons. One; it is the first coin that I collected and I want to continue collecting them. Two, we make 5 billions cents a year. It costs us twice the cost to make than its value. Thus, we spend a total of $50 million dollars a year on making the penny. Our GDP is $14 trillion. The cost of removing the penny is 0.00036% of the GDP. Do you really think that the inflation caused by removing the penny (eg. rounding up) is going to cost us more than 0.00036%?
  19. quartertapper

    quartertapper Numismatist

    While I do respect your view on this, I do not believe for a second that eliminating the cent will have any major or lasting effects to the U.S. economy. I say we start producing it exclusively for collectors in the original 95% copper composition, and sell it through the U.S. mint much like the Kennedy half dollars, and Sacagawea dollars. The purchasing power of the one cent denomination is so insignificant, in a few short years, no one will miss them except people with a nostalgic coin collecting ambitions.
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  20. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Eliminating the cent would have no effect on inflation because half the time it would also round down cancelling out the times it rounded up.

    The argument that we only lose $50 million a year and that isn't that much still begs the question why should we lose it at all if we don't have to?

    And I don't see it as a good deal to lose $50 miilion a year just so you can continue collecting 1 cent pieces. :)
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  21. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    I pity the die makers and the machine operators. :(
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