With the cost of manufacturing a penny at somewhere around one and a half cents, It’s only a matter of time before the government gets religion and stops minting them. One economics professor estimates that the U.S. loses about $900 million a year in production costs and handling. I think ending the production of a minted coin is more a political issue, but prudent economics would indicate that anything costing one and a half times more to make than it can be sold for is probably not worth making.
The Lincoln head penny has had 99 years of quasi-useful life since first being minted in 1909. Celebrating the Lincoln penny’s 100th anniversary next year and ending production forever would be historically poignant.
I rarely take pennies in my change and when I do they end up in a container in my car, on my office desk or in a big metal bucket at home. That metal bucket is overflowing with close to 30 years of pennies, which I have been reluctant to trade in because I’m sure that there are several coins that are worth much more than face value (like that 1910-S), and others that are worth, well, a pretty penny. The face value of my stash is about $90, maybe just a little more. If you have a stash and want to figure out about how many you’ve got without counting them, try weighing them. 100 pennies average 0.58 pounds (pennies vary in weight because their metal content has changed over the years, but that number is pretty close).
I have no rationale for hoarding my pennies except to perhaps melt them down someday. Or maybe give them to my future grandchildren.