Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

December 15, 2006

Apparently, It’s Not Really Our Money After All

by Doug Mataconis

Just in case you thought that those coins in your pocket were yours to use as you see fit, the U.S. Mint has other ideas:

WASHINGTON — People who melt pennies or nickels to profit from the jump in metals prices could face jail time and pay thousands of dollars in fines, according to new rules out Thursday.

Soaring metals prices mean that the value of the metal in pennies and nickels exceeds the face value of the coins. Based on current metals prices, the value of the metal in a nickel is now 6.99 cents, while the penny’s metal is worth 1.12 cents, according to the U.S. Mint.

That has piqued concern among government officials that people will melt the coins to sell the metal, leading to potential shortages of pennies and nickels.

Unless I’m missing something, doesn’t that also mean that the Mint loses almost 2 cents on each nickel it makes and loses money on each penny as well ? Yea, that makes sense.

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  • http://oldsmoblogger.blogspot.com Ken

    One question: Who’s to know?

  • John Newman

    From the article:
    “travelers may take up to $5 in pennies and nickels out of the country”

    I live on the Tex-Mex border and go to Mexico frequently. There’s a sign you see before entering Mexico that warns you that you can’t take more than $10k out of the country – now there gonna a need another sign that says ‘and only $5.00 of that $10,000 can be in nickels or pennies.’

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