How Much Does It Cost to Produce a US Coin?

The cost of producing a US coin depends on the specific coin. Quarters and nickels, for example, each cost a little more than 11 cents apiece to create, and a dime costs a little less than 6 cents to produce. A penny has a production cost of more than twice what it is worth, which has led to debates over eliminating them. In 2011, the average cost to make a penny was 2.41 cents. Although US coins are not made of precious metals, the cost for each coin generally depends on the size of the coin and the market price of the metal from which it is made. Quarters, dimes and nickels are made of copper and nickel alloy, and pennies are made of copper-plated zinc.

More about US coins:

  • Gray pennies were made of steel during World War II to conserve copper for wartime efforts.

  • The first US coin with the motto "In God We Trust" was a two-cent coin produced from 1864-1873.

  • The average coin in the US has an estimated lifespan of about 25 years.
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