A Dave's Collectible Coins Article

The Death of the U.S. Penny: Is it Going to Happen?

There has been a lot of talk over the years about the American cent. Much of this talk has orbited around the possibility of the U.S. Mint discontinuing the production of the iconic U.S cent, for a majority of different reasons. Like talk of bringing back certain coins or possibly releasing certain commemorative sets, this is one of those things in the coin field that certainly does get talked about a lot, but never seems to happen.

The argument is a solid one for why the cent should go, but so is the argument for it to stay. Different articles say different things. One article at cashmoneylife.com goes into great detail on the exact plans and machinations of the US Mint for how it will go about treating the U.S. cent. It says that starting in late 2016 the U.S. Mint will fade out the penny, and by the end of 2017, production will immediately cease.

The article also references multiple buy back plans and incentives to get coins out of the drawers, jars, and dressers of the American populace, and to officially discontinue and truly phase out the Lincoln Cent. In addition to that, the article talks about the U.S. Mint’s argument for ceasing the production of the coin due to the simple fact that it is too expensive to produce the coins any more. With inflation, a penny just isn’t what it used to be forty, thirty, even just twenty years ago.

When people’s first question is, “Well what one earth am I going to get when I put down $1.50 for something that cost’s $1.47?” the article answers that the U.S. Mint will encourage stores to round up or down, and that society is almost cashless now anyways.

The Other Side of the Coin

Then we go to another article, and we see something completely different. The one article says that the Mint is going to make 2017 the last year for pennies and the other says that the 2017 is going to have a P mintmark on it for the first time ever on a U.S. cent and that the 2018 will go back to no mintmark for the coin. The two articles contradict each other on if more are going to be made or not.

In the second article, one written and posted at coinweek.com, discusses the future of the U.S. cent. In the article, it is made more clear that the penny will in fact be continued by the U.S. Mint. This article does not say much in regards to the potential discontinuation of the cent or not. It doesn’t go into a lot of detail about this constant, ever present back and forth debate as to whether or not the Mint is going to discontinue the cent or not, it simply discusses the current plans and makes it clear by overview alone that the Mint will not be discontinuing the cent.

Looking to the Future

It would seem that we are left once again in mystery as to what the future of the U.S. cent will be like. For us, we personally are of the mindset that the U.S. Mint will make a pretty big production about it when the coin does come to a close. That will be historic. Can you imagine? The discontinuation of a piece of American currency that’s been around for over a hundred years? It will be big news to say the least. We feel that, when the day does come when the cent is discontinued, we will all hear about it long before it goes into effect.


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