Legislation Introduced to Give the Mint Authority to Change Coin Metal Content

Press Release                                                                                               
Contact: Mark Weller
(202) 408-3933

For Immediate Release:  August 6, 2007                                       

WASHINGTON, DC - Legislation introduced last week in the House and Senate would give the Mint the authority to change the metal composition of coins. Under current law, Congress determines the size, weight, composition and design of coins.

House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank and Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy Chairman Luis Gutierrez introduced H.R. 3330, the “Coinage Materials Modernization Act of 2007.” Senate companion legislation, S. 1986, was introduced by Senator Wayne Allard, a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Both bills are an effort to save taxpayers over $100 million per year with alternative metals.

Mark Weller, Executive Director of Americans for Common Cents, noted that Congress must consider two issues in this debate. "The initial question is whether Congress will hand over to the U.S. Mint powers granted to Congress by the Founding Fathers," Weller said. Article 1 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to determine the composition and design of U.S. coins, a power they have exercised since 1792. According to Weller, there is an equally pressing question about options to make our coins more cost effectively.

According to Weller, the Mint is wise to explore various options to make coins more cost effectively. “All U.S. coins, not just the penny, are impacted by higher metal costs,” Weller said. The Mint has stated publicly that it takes almost a dime - 9.5 cents - to make every nickel. “It makes good business sense to keep all your options open and look for ways to save money through innovation,” Weller added.

Pennies are currently made out of copper-plated zinc. “Like most commodities, zinc prices have gone up and down over time, but over the long haul, American taxpayers have benefited,” said Weller. “The U.S. Mint since 1982 has made more than $800 million from the penny. ”

Americans for Common Cents is a broad based and informal coalition of charitable organizations, historians, coin collectors and those involved in penny production who share a common interest in the penny's history and continued circulation. 


President's Day - A Time to Celebrate Abraham Lincoln and Cheaper Pennies

President's Day gives us the chance - at least once a year - to recognize Abraham Lincoln's immense contributions to the country and a legacy that continues to enrich us daily.

President Lincoln is a unique cultural and historical figure," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of Americans for Common Cents. "It's not just that the front of the penny has had Lincoln's image since 1909, it's what Lincoln did for our nation," Weller added "He possessed all the qualities we want in a president -- the ability to unite a divided nation, honesty, strength, and humility," Weller concluded.

For the full press release, please click here


Special Announcement!

Pennies for Pasta and Pennies for Patients

These are run by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through its local chapters as part of its renamed Student Series program:  www.studentseries.org

For more information, you should call your local Chapter which may be found by going to the Society's website at: www.lls.org

Please note Americans for Common Cents does not get actively engaged in any fundraising activities.

Collapse of the zinc market means the penny is cheaper to make; saves taxpayers!

A collapse in metals prices means U.S. coins, including the penny, are less expensive to make. The penny has reached its lowest cost in seven years. Each 1-cent coin, made almost entirely of zinc, now costs the taxpayer much less to produce and its likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Click here to read more.

More than Two-Thirds of Americans Still Favor Keeping the Penny

Recent Poll Shows Increasing Penny Support and Concern About Price Increases If Penny Is Eliminated

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A poll released today by Americans for Common Cents (ACC) continues to show overwhelming and increasing support for the penny by the American public. 68% of those surveyed favor keeping the penny in circulation, representing a slight increase since the last poll in 2012.

"These results confirm the strong and unwavering support the penny continues to receive from Americans," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of ACC. Weller's group includes more than 50 organizations that support continued production of the penny.

For the full article, please click here

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