The recession plagued economy that the world is facing is affecting everyone. The United States Mint is no exception.
Due to the rapidly increasing prices of metals used for making coins, the U.S. Mint will begin to produce pennies and nickels made from plastic and wood.
Franklin Wilson, spokesman for the U.S. mint gave the Puyallup Post an exclusive interview on the subject.
“At the current prices of copper and nickel, it just wasn’t practical to continue producing the coins in the same way we were; It was time for a change” said Wilson.
Mr. Wilson referred to concerns about the coins’ durability as “unfounded”
“We are making the nickels out of extremely durable iron wood and the pennies out of injection-molded high-impact plastic, the same kind that car bumpers are made of” he elaborated.
Many critics have complained that many types of ironwood are actually more expensive than the copper and nickel they are going to replace.
“Hogwash” exclaimed Wilson.
“There are certain types of ironwood available that are very inexpensive” he explained.
Environmentalists have raised concerns about the environmental ramifications of using such a large amount of wood to produce the new nickels.
“Such concerns have been carefully evaluated, but we believe that environmental impact will be minimal; we have top men working on it…top men” said Wilson.
Wilson went on to talk about the new plastic pennies.
“We are excited about how this new durable plastic will change the way we think about coinage; just imagine how much lighter you pockets will be without the archaic and heavy copper and zinc pennies bogging you down” exclaimed Wilson.
“I also want the public to know that this plastic will be some very tough stuff and it won’t corrode like the copper and zinc pennies do” said Wilson.
Wilson went on to address concerns about how the new coins would work in vending machines.
“Vending machine companies will have to adapt their machines to work with are new coins; it is their patriotic duty as Americans” exclaimed Wilson.
This is not the first time that America has changed the material of its coins; I mean in the 1960’s we went from silver dimes, quarters and half-dollars to nickel-plated copper ones” Wilson said.
The new pennies and nickels are scheduled to enter circulation in early 2012.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost