Mint: Don't melt money

Government threatens prison for violators; at current prices the metal value of the coins may exceed their face values.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The U.S. Mint has implemented a rule against melting down pennies and nickels which, at current metal prices, could be worth more as metal than as currency.

The Mint has received numerous questions over the past several months regarding the metal value of the coins and the legality of melting them.

The U.S. nickel
The U.S. nickel

"We are taking this action because the nation needs its coinage for commerce," said Director Ed Moy in a statement.

"We don't want to see our pennies and nickels melted down so a few individuals can take advantage of the American taxpayer. Replacing these coins would be an enormous cost to taxpayers."

The new regulations authorize a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to five years, or both, against violators.

The rule also bans the exportation of the coins, beyond traveling with $5 worth and shipping up to $100 for legitimate purposes.


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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.