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Former Director of the United States Mint Philip N. Diehl believes that the one cent coin has outlived its usefulness. The last time the one cent coin became too costly to make, the mint changed the coin’s composition, replacing copper with zinc. That was in 1982. A recent Mint study found that no change in composition would allow for the continued production of the coin at a profit. There’s literally no metal cheaper than a cent!

But what keeps the one cent coin alive? And would Americans even notice if the one cent coin went away? We asked Philip Diehl these questions and the answers he gave us were telling – not just about the dollars and cents of coin production.

In this episode of the CoinWeek Podcast, Philip Diehl discusses the one cent coin, his efforts to eliminate it during his term in office and how the penny’s most important advocates – the zinc industry – keeps the coin alive.

This article was originally published in print on January 28, 2015. You can read the original article by clicking this link.

 

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Copyright © CoinWeek November 2015

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