Steel Penny Legislation Introduced


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

For Immediate Release:  November 2, 2007                                        


WASHINGTON, DC - Illinois Representative Peter Roskam introduced legislation yesterday to change the metal of the composition of the penny to steel. According to Roskam, other countries have adjusted the metal content of some or all of their circulating coins given the increase in metal prices. He urged the United States should do the same thing by adopting H.R. 4036.

Wide swings in metal prices around the world have impacted the cost of the penny and other U.S. coins. In fact, the U.S. Mint has stated publicly that it now costs almost a dime - 9.5 cents - to make a nickel.

Mark Weller, Executive Director of Americans for Common Cents, said Congress and the Mint should explore ways to make coins more cost effectively. “Americans benefit from the penny,” Weller said. “The country and individual consumers would be harmed, however, if a discussion of alternative metals turned into an effort to eliminate the penny,” he added.

Since hitting an all time high in December 2006, the price of zinc (the primary metal in the penny) has dropped to half that level in less than a year. “That is exactly why we should not overreact to short-term metal price fluctuations and consider eliminating the penny,” Weller noted. Stabilization of zinc prices is consistent with historical patterns and a trend that may continue as more suppliers enter the marketplace around the globe. Since 1982, the Mint has made more than $800 from penny production.

Weller noted that the government will not save money with penny elimination. “The nickel costs more to make than the penny, so it’s hard to see how you save money by making more nickels,” Weller said. Economic research has shown that consumers would be hit with a minimum of a $600 million annual rounding tax without the penny, since prices would be rounded to the nickel without 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:

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

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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