We’ve long known that the cost of producing an American penny far exceeds the face value of the coin … which is why we have consistently advocated for the elimination of the penny.

Well guess what … it turns out that the cost of producing an American nickel is also more expensive than the coin is worth.  According to data released by the U.S. Mint, the unit cost for producing a nickel is 11.48 cents.  Meanwhile the unit cost for a producing a penny is 2.41 cents.  In other words, it costs more than twice as much to make both of these coins as they’re worth – something to ponder as the national debt eclipses the $16 trillion mark.

How many pennies did the government make a year ago? Forty-nine billion.

(By comparison it costs 5.65 cents to mint a dime and 11.14 cents to make a quarter).

Producing the nickel and the penny has been a money losing proposition for the last six years – although the $116.7 million bath the taxpayers took during the fiscal year ending last September was roughly three times greater than the loss incurred the previous fiscal year.

Why’s that?  According to Michael Zielinski over at (yes, we actually visited the reason for the sudden increase was a combination of higher metal costs and new accounting standards.

Hmmmm ….

Whatever the reason, it’s time to take a step back from all this madness and state the obvious:  America shouldn’t be making coins that are worth less than half their face value.  Of course we shouldn’t be printing more money out of thin air, either … but that’s another story.