The Massapequa Coin Club received a comprehensive presentation on the possible elimination of the cent from its Young Numismatist Mark Hammerschmidt during its Feb. 14 at the Ellsworth W. Allen Town Park meeting room in Farmingdale, NY.
Hammerschmitd’s presentation “Will it Make Cents to Kill the U.S. Penny?” was informative and humorous. He explained that the government’s cost to manufacture and distribute a penny in 2012 was 2cents and that a trade group, Americans for Common Cents (ACC), was a big advocate of maintaining the U.S. penny.
ACC is financially supported by Jarden Zinc, he said, which makes the zinc and copper planchets used by the Mint to strike pennies.
The presentation included the history of Jarden and its operations. Also in favor of maintaining the penny are vending machine operators who would have to retrofit their machines if the penny was eliminated, he said.
Those in favor of eliminating the U.S. penny include Nonprofit Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny. They argue that making pennies wastes money. Spending them – even handling them – wastes time.
Hammerschmidt shared the possible steps of how the penny could be eliminated, including how legislation would pass through Congress, procedures for rounding transactions, how the government would remove pennies from circulation and how they would be melted down. Several sources were cited for his research.
The club was also treated to some humorous slides including a poem from Ava Rosien which reads,”A penny for my thoughts you say? A penny won’t buy you the time of day … At least a nickel you’ll have to pay!”