Every time the United States Mint stamps a new penny, the government loses $0.004. With an expected run of nine billion pennies in 2006, that equates to a production loss of $34 million. During WWII, the penny was coined from steel in order to conserve valuable copper assets for the war effort. In 1982, penny production was changed to a thin copper coating over zinc to keep the metal value of pennies below its worth. Rising ore and mineral markets, however, are driving the price of zinc to new highs as the metal is being used for new applications. Will the core metal of the penny be revised in the near future or will the currency eventually cease production?
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