Pennies and Nickels Cost More Than They're Worth

Do we really need the penny?

Do we really need the penny?

America still spends more money producing pennies and nickels than the coins are actually worth, despite scientists' best efforts to drive down costs.

The U.S. Mint has made pretty good progress lately in developing cheaper ways to create coins, but the latest statistics leave us wondering: Do we really still need pennies?

See also: Tom Emmer Doused With 2,000 Pennies by Protester

The latest report issued by the U.S. Mint showed a penny still costs 1.7 cents to make, and a nickel cost 8.1 cents.

So the good news is that coin costs are down across the board since Congress got off its ass in 2010 and decided to do something about our logic-defying minting process. The Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010 requires the U.S. Mint to issue a report every two years detailing how it is working to lower coin costs. The first one came out in 2012, and the second one was released earlier this month.

Rest assured, the government (probably) has its best scientists working around the clock to get those costs down further. But by the time they succeed we'll all be using bitcoin anyway. Right?