There are many rumors out there about congress trying to do away with the penny. Many stories also include the conspiracy that it is the legislature from Illinois that is the biggest hold up, Illinois is after all the land of Lincoln. Depending on the current cost of materials a penny can cost any where from $.013 to $.018 to make. These numbers fluctuate with the commodities markets. Since pennies are made of part zinc and part copper, figuring a standard cost for production is not easy. You have to also figure in the energy and labor costs plus distribution.
Here's the catch: Pennies are priceless. They have no expiration date, and they can be used over and over and over again.
Now take your average credit card. It takes more money to make a credit card than a penny. A credit card can be rejected, and it comes with an expiration date. Credit cards have to be protected from identity theft. And you can't use them in a power outage, or a road side stand. And worst of all, you can't watch them swirl around the vortex in a science museum.
A penny is a powerful coin. There is no limit to what they can buy, especially if they band together.
Teaching kids to use and make change is a powerful step in helping them learn to respect the value of money.