Cost to Make the Penny: Chart/Graph

In Copper Pennies, Investment by copper pennies3 Comments

Cost to Make the Penny: Chart/Graph


It’s official. The 2011 annual report from the United States Mint has been released. When discussing cost to mint a coin, one must look backwards in time at last year’s reported figures. So how much does it cost to make a penny in 2011? Here’s our updated chart modeling the cost of the penny since the year 2001:

Figures are in U.S. Cents Sourced from the U.S. Mint
cost to make penny
(Click chart above to make bigger)


2.41 cents. Every one cent made by the United States Mint costs 2.41 cents. The consensus is that this loss is 3x greater than the Fiscal Year for the mint in 2010. That’s three times the inefficiency, waste of money, and over-compensating minting of coins for circulation.

Penny Profitability

The loss the US Mint takes in producing the penny is mind boggling when contemplating how much turmoil goes on in Congress trying to reduce cost. Take a look at the loss taken by the Mint to make the United States penny in 2011 charted in a graph starting in the year 2000:

(Click chart below to make bigger)
penny profitability
Figures in U.S. Dollars Sourced from the U.S. Mint


United States Mint Annual Report 2011


Want to read the annual report? Here’s the link below. We recommend doing a “find search” for the word ‘penny’ to save time when reading. The actual figures printed for losses are on page 11. Our advice: Buy copper pennies now before pennies are exterminated and the price of copper pennies skyrockets when people realize they can’t get them in circulation anymore (read more: Penny Cost 2012 Boosts Copper Penny Investing).

United States Mint 2011 Annual Report


What do you think about the penny? Should the United States Mint keep making the penny, change the composition of the metal of the coin, or discontinue the penny altogether?


  1. I believe that once all of the costs associated with maintaining the nation’s supply of pennies (eg: culling, recycling, minting, distributing) are added, the taxpayer’s cost-per-penny is much closer to a dime.

    What problems would be created in commerce by rounding every total to the nearest nickle, only at the time funds exchange ownership. In other words, keep all prices, collections, payments, bookkeeping, and finances as is. Only, when money changes hands, round to the nearest nickle.

    In the long run, all the gains and losses would average out, and the taxpayers could mint pennies for sale at a profit to collectors, instead.

  2. and we are looking for ways to get out of debt! yet we overlook the simple thing of a cent and look at how much it costs to make them vs. the actual face value and continue to loose over $165 MILLION dollars on this. the smart person would look at this and say WHY!! also to all thoes who like jokes; what is the difference between a congressman vs. a dad? the dad knows when to stop writing checks!!

  3. I think with all this money being lost. They should just stop the manufacturing of the penny, and use the money on something important such as, helping the children in Africa. And maybe if they didn’t make the penny, then the U.S. wouldn’t complain about being in debt and we would have a stronger economy.

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