I think that we need to get rid of pennies entirely. People can take all their pennies to a bank and trade them in; the banks would ship them to the United States Mint, where they would be melted and used for other coins such as nickels, dimes, and quarters, further lowering the production cost of those coins without affecting their monetary value. Why do I think this is a good idea?
According to the United States Mint it currently costs 1.62 cents to produce each penny. A penny consists of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper and weighs 2.5 grams. Copper is trading at about $7,900 per ton; zinc is approximately $99 per ton. There are 907180 grams in a ton. One ton of pennies would be worth $3,628.72 at a bank, and $395 at the scrap yard; this dismisses the myth that the metal is worth more than the perceived value. The fact remains thought that there is more to production cost that the purchase price of the metal. Ceasing production of the penny would save the federal government $44 million annually. By ending circulation all prices would be rounded to the nearest $0.05, after tax; and the cost of “dealing with” pennies would be history.
In 1992 Australia successfully removed it’s penny from circulation. In 2006 Representative Jim Kolbe of Arizona reintroduced a bill (originally from 2001) to eliminate the penny. The Legal Tender Modernization Act did not pass.
I exhort you, consider this carefully and do your own research. Then let me and your elected officials know how you feel.