With rising prices for zinc and copper, every penny now costs slightly more than one cent for the U.S. Mint to produce. Nickels now cost about 5.5 cents to produce.
A penny now has one-eighth the purchasing power it did in 1950 -- and then the coin was 95% copper, versus 3% today. Congress may be moving to eliminate the penny from our currency. They usually have priorities confused.
The Wall Street Journal suggests if American consumers don't find value in using pennies, they are free to conduct their transactions without them -- or drop the change in the jar for Jerry's Kids. It turns out that one social value of pennies is that they help charities collect millions of dollars in donations each year -- yes, one red cent at a time.
Ronald McDonald House and any number of charities benefit from pennies. So use your pennies wisely. A penny earned is a value to someone who needs it. A nickle too if your so inclined.