According to this article at Newser, “Penny Costs 2 Cents to Make, Mint Stumped on Fix”.
They’ve been trying to create new pennies out of all sorts of materials, but can’t seem to come up with a cheaper alternative.
From a numismatic standpoint, I would “die” to have one of these patterns:
Martha Washington Penny Pattern, with “In God We Trust” and ‘Liberty” scrambled
But that aside, I have the perfect solution for the mint, if they’d just take my advice:
Stop making pennies. Eliminate them altogether.
There. You’re welcome.
Oh, and you say a nickel costs 11¢ to make, but a penny costs 2¢? Well, once you’ve gotten rid of the penny, that leaves all that existing manufacturing equipment available for making the new, smaller 5¢ piece… for only 2¢. Yes, vending machine owners all across the country will have to adjust, but it wouldn’t be the first time. Times change.
The Old Wolf’s two penn’orth.