Saturday, January 27, 2007

US Coins

Due to continued inflation (which is, of course, Fed policy) we see our dollars and coins worth less and less. How much less? Check out to see just what our coins are worth. Current base metal composition can be found here.

Over the years the Fed has reformulated the various coins to make them of cheaper materials because inflation had eaten away their value making the value of the metal plus cost to produce more than the value of the coin. Well, even with that reformulation the Fed's continuous policy of inflation has made both nickels and pennies worth more as their base metals than their purchasing power. How does the Gov respond to this? Do they stop inflation? Shore up our economy? Nope. They make it illegal to take more than $5.00 of coins out of the country. Can't have you taking that stuff out of the country cuz if you did you might melt them down and turn them into something more valuable.

Coin facts:
  • There are 154 copper pennies in a pound.
  • Dimes, Quarters and Half Dollars were 90% silver until 1964
  • Half Dollars were then 40% silver from 65 to 1970.
  • 1971-1976 Dollars were 40% Silver
  • Nickels during WWII (1942-45) were 35% silver.
  • Also during WWII pennies were made of steel, but there are 40 known copper pennies made during that year. One sold recently for $82,500.
  • The ridges (or reeds) on coins was originally developed to discourage people from shaving coins. Due to them being made of actual gold and silver, unscrupulous people would shave a little bit off every coin they could making the coins worth less.
  • The 1792 law that established the Mint made coin defacement, counterfeiting, and embezzlement by Mint employees punishable by death.