You’d think amid tough financial times, the U.S. Mint wouldn’t bother printing special edition coins that cost more to make than they’re actually worth.
But that’s not stopping new Lincoln pennies from being released this year. In honor of the 200th anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth, the Mint is releasing four coins with the traditional portrait on the front and memorable periods from Abe’s life on the back.
The first, depicting the former President’s place of birth — a log cabin in Kentucky — is already in circulation.
Given the rising price of zinc and copper, it costs the Mint about 1.4 cents on average to make each penny. The Washington Post has suggested changing the metal content of the pennies to steel, if only temporarily, to lower their production costs, but no change is planned for the foreseeable future.