|A question about pennies.
||[Apr. 18th, 2014|05:03 pm]
Has any country ever minted a coin with less value than the American 1 cent coin? In 1913, the buying power of the American penny was about that of the current American quarter. In 1960, when the British finally got rid of the farthing, its buying power was about that of the current American dime.|
Has any country other than the United States ever continued to mint such a valueless coin?
Russian still mints kopecks, which are way more valueless (or less valueable?) than cents.
The Polish Zloty. Many years ago we found that the zloty was the exact size and shape as a US quarter. However it was worth one/tenth of a cent (yup, 10 zlotys to the penny). They were so worthless people had to scrape the back of their desk drawers to find any.
Russia had kopeks until at least 2012
Mexico minted one (old(old)) peso coins through the 1980s, even when devaluation had them trading at 6000:1 against the US dollar. Their value as base metal exceeded their numismatic worth by several orders of magnitude by 1986, to say nothing of the sunk cost of minting the stupid things. As I understand it, the base metal value of the US one cent coin is only off by about one order of magnitude, but my information may be out of date.
The penny's not as bad as an order of magnitude -- Snopes puts it at 2.41 cents to make one, which includes both materials and minting. The cost of the zinc and copper is more than a cent, but you have to have a whole lot of them to make it worthwhile to melt them down and sell the material. And it's been illegal to do so since 2006.
2014-04-19 05:36 am (UTC)
Not quite what you're asking, but the U.S. did mint half cent coins for around the first 50 or so of U.S. coinage.
--querldox (via phone)
I remember the German pfennig...
I dunno how much it was worth at the time, but I remember having some oldish (1970s? 80s?) Israeli coinage which was minted in some light metal -- aluminum? A quick web search shows that they were 1 agora coins from the 1960s, and were made of aluminum; I dunno how much they were worth at the time, but I doubt they were worth much... especially after the inflation started going crazy.