Steel cents, nickels, dimes and quarters are being sought by three members of Congress from the state of Ohio.
They teamed up in April on legislation called the Cents and Sensibility Act, H.R. 2067, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and referred to the Committee on Financial Services.
The steel is to be purchased from United States suppliers only. The appearance of the new coins is to be the same as current coinage both when new and after they have been in circulation, according to the proposed law’s text.
This would imply some sort of plating or coating as is used in other countries.
Vending machine operators would be subjected to just one change in their discriminator mechanisms to accommodate the new coins.
The text envisions current coinage circulating side by side with the new coins. The Treasury secretary is authorized to strike collector versions in compositions other than steel.
Since 2006 it has cost more to make the cent and the nickel than their respective face values.
The Mint has been examining cheaper alternative compositions. It is required to file biannual reports on this topic with Congress. It did so in 2012 and 2014. The 2016 report has not yet been filed.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today
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