I guess this news shouldn’t be surprising. It had to happen sometime.

For the first time in U.S. history, the cost of manufacturing both a penny and a nickel is more than the 1-cent and 5-cent values of the coins themselves. Skyrocketing metals prices are behind the increase, the U.S. Mint said in a letter to members of Congress last week.

The Mint estimates it will cost 1.23 cents per penny and 5.73 cents per nickel this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The cost of producing a penny has risen 27% in the last year, while nickel manufacturing costs have risen 19%.

So the real question is: What do we do about it? There’s been a push to get rid of the penny for some time. Should we also get rid of the nickel? What if we simply made the nickel smaller? This doesn’t directly effects your personal finances, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

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