Price Inflation Will Force the US Mint to Once Again Change the Metal Content of Coins

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Price inflation indexes may not indicate much inflation, but the US Mint knows that the indexes don’t reflect the true picture.

The  Mint is considering a change to the mix of metals it uses to make quarters, dimes and nickels, because of the climbing cost of production of the coins. reports WSJ.

It now costs 1.8 cents to make a penny and 9.4 cents to make a nickel, costing the federal government about $104.5 million last year.

If the materials are altered for the first time in half a century or more, some coins could have new colors and weigh less, says WSJ. It plans to keep the diameter and thickness of any potential new coins the same as existing specie.

Richard Peterson, the top official at the Mint,said said completely stopping production of the penny is a “discussion topic.”

“[D]imes and quarters, they are really the workhorses of the coin lineup right now,” Peterson said.

I fully expect that in the next bout of accelerating price inflation that the value of the metal content of current nickels will soar. Thus, nickels are a great no downside investment. If the price inflation I anticipate doesn’t develop, just spend the nickels. For more on nickels as an investment see: Why You Need to Own Nickels, Right Now

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.

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