The Wild, Woolly World of the US Mint

From The Business Journal:

The U.S. Mint introduced Monday four new designs for the Lincoln penny, which will be released in 2009 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the 16th President’s birth.

The front of the new pennies will retain the familiar profile of Lincoln. The backs of the four new coins will feature: the log cabin in which Lincoln is said to have been born; an image of him reading while working as a log-splitter; a standing pose besides the state capitol in Springfield, Illinois; and a image of the half- finished U.S. Capitol, its state when he was inaugurated in 1861.

A Lincoln commemorative silver dollar also will be released in 2009, the U.S. Mint said.

Pennies are the bane of the coin world
. Not only are they worth more melted than they are in the form of currency, but they serve no real purpose in cash transactions, unless you count throwing them into a penny bowl by the cash register or simply letting them drop to the ground.

The penny thing isn’t the least of what the mint has been focusing on during recent days. Congress recently passed a bill to continue minting $1 coins, those irksome shiny things given to you as change by such venerable institutions as the post office and train stations.

In other words, although the economy is getting dramatically restructured, the coin kerfuffle stays the same.

I have to hand it to the mint, though. They do come up with some sweet designs.

  • john k

    hey – the $1 coins make more sense all the time. Last week I needed a wheelbarrow of quarters to do the laundry. All the washers work in multiples of $1 and the dryers really should (25c for 4-6 min?)

  • Doesn’t it cost 1.4 cents to make a penny? Also, you can’t use it in vending machines or toll booths, except in Illinois. Know why? Cause Lincoln is from Illinois.

    Weren’t we trying to get rid of this friggin’ thing? I mean, is there an actual use for a penny today? Tell ya what, let’s collect all of the pennies that are stuck in our sofas, stuffed in coffee cans, and laying on the floor of our cars, and maybe we can scrounge up the $700 billion we need to bail out Wall Street.