WASHINGTON, DC (WTVN) -- An Ohio congressman wants to see the U.S. Mint switch to steel for making coins.
"Steel costs about $900 a ton versus some of the other metals that cost up to $5,000 a ton or $12,000 a ton," said Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH).
Since 2006, due to the rising cost of materials and labor, the manufacturing of some denominations has become unprofitable. Of the coins currently in circulation today, the cost of producing pennies and nickels is greater than the actual face value of the coins.
"About 1.8 cents to make a penny and about 9.5 cents to make a nickel," Stivers said.
Pennies are made from copper and zinc while other coins like nickels, dimes, and quarters are made from copper and nickel.
Pennies would be dipped in copper so the appearance of the coins would not change.
According to the House Financial Services Committee, the United States will save taxpayers up to $433 million over 10 years by simply changing the composition of the coins to steel.
Great Britain and Canada made the switch to steel several years ago.
(Photo courtesy Getty Images)