Due to the cost of metals, cost of manufacture and administrative costs, it is a problem for the USA that pennies and nickles cost more than their value.
Obama wants cheaper pennies and nickels
By Chris Isidore @CNNMoney
February 15, 2012: 2:34 PM ET
QUOTE: (I only quoted a few paragraphs from the beginning)
To be precise, it cost 2.4 cents to make one penny in 2011 and about 11.2 cents for each nickel.
Given the number of coins that the mint produces -- 4.3 billion pennies and 914 million nickels last year alone, those costs add up pretty quickly: a little more than $100 million for each coin.
But even though Treasury has been studying new metals since 2010, it has yet to come up with a workable mix that would definitely be cheaper, and it has no details yet as to what metals should be used or how much it would save to do so.