Cost of Penny Occupies Lawmakers' Thoughts A rise in copper prices means it now costs the U.S. government 1.7 cents to make a penny coin. The head of the U.S. Mint discussed a change in the composition of coins on Capitol Hill this week, but one lawmaker resurfaced another plan: scrap the penny altogether.
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Cost of Penny Occupies Lawmakers' Thoughts

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Cost of Penny Occupies Lawmakers' Thoughts

Cost of Penny Occupies Lawmakers' Thoughts

Cost of Penny Occupies Lawmakers' Thoughts

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A rise in copper prices means it now costs the U.S. government 1.7 cents to make a penny coin. The head of the U.S. Mint discussed a change in the composition of coins on Capitol Hill this week, but one lawmaker resurfaced another plan: scrap the penny altogether.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And what's happening in the market for precious metals is the price of gold hit a record $1,000 an ounce before sliding back. We don't mostly have gold jingling in our pockets, so our last word in business: copper. And copper prices are also skyrocketing.

Copper's gotten so expensive it now costs the government 1.7 cents to make one cent, meaning, of course, the penny coin. And that's one reason the head of the U.S. Mint was on Capitol Hill this week talking up a proposal to change the composition of coins so they're cheaper to make.

One lawmaker offered another proposal: how about scrapping the penny all together?

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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