Is making 3-4 billion new pennies (at cost of >2.5 cents each) of each year/mint really necessary?
And for that matter it costs a little over 2x face value to make each nickel too!
Now first off, I'm well aware pennies aren't going anywhere (I've no doubt the two Illinois senators would tag team filibuster even the tiniest suggestion of discontinuing it because who happens to be on the penny) but I'm just curious, is 3-4 billion pennies or so of each year/mint really necessary? I mean surely there must be more than enough pennies going back several decades to go around, right? And if it does indeed cost >2.5x face value to make them, wouldn't maybe work better to have some sort of buyback program where you turn in old pennies to your local bank and get 2x their face value...BUT how do you do that without it getting abused?
I've gone through a couple boxes of pennies (and a box of nickels too; sadly no Buffalos/WWII's and only one Canadian) and saw all these mintages listed on the folders so it made me curious.
Dimes: 55P+D, 54S, 53S, 52S, 50S, 49D+S, 47S, 46S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
Quarters: 61D, 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars