The value of the copper penny continues to move closer to full value, but I'm more surprised about the breakout of zinc over $0.50/lb. Conversion to a zinc-plated steel cent (similar to Canada) is a possibility for 2005, and almost a definite for 2006 if the zinc trend continues.
The last Mint
annual report already noted that cent production costs were near break-even. A steel cent certainly isn't inflation-proof considering that steel has more than doubled since last year.
Anyone ready for a plastic cent? Elimination of the cent is more likely.