Penny-pinching: Canada cuts penny; is our Lincoln coin next?

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Canada has dropped penny production. And now some are wondering: Maybe it’s time for America to do the same?

The Royal Canadian Mint ended production this week, citing costs as the driving reason, Fox News reported.

In the United States, meanwhile, efforts to do the same and stop penny production haven’t gone so smoothly.

While the U.S. Mint estimates it spends $44 million each year on penny production — and that each Abe Lincoln face-stamped penny costs 2 cents to make — legislative attempts to do away with the zinc-based coin have failed.

Ex-Rep. Jim Kolbe tried twice, in 2001 and in 2006, to legislatively abolish the penny, Fox News said.

The U.S. Mint unveiled four revamped Lincoln penny designs in 2009 to mark the 200th birthday of the 16th president. It was a "milestone moment," said Andrew D. Brunhart, the mint's deputy director. Coin foes say it's only kept in circulation by the zinc lobby. (Associated Press)

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The U.S. Mint unveiled four revamped Lincoln penny designs in 2009 to ... more >

But perhaps the time is right to try again: The sluggish economy, coupled with Canada’s recent decision, could prove the winning combination for anti-penny legislators.

“Right, left or center, all parties know that the country needs to save as much money as possible,” the group Retire the Penny says on its website, according to Fox News. “And it’s impossible to save money when it’s being wasted.”

 

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