Talk:1974 aluminum cent

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Profit?[edit]

The article mentions that the aluminum cent was rejected because "the price of copper went down to the point where making the penny would be profitable." Since when is the Mint in it for profit? They're a government agency, and by definition not a for-profit company. Would it perhaps be better to write "making the penny would be more feasible" or "more worthwhile" or "more affordable"? LordAmeth 01:08, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

  • http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=2725597&page=1&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312
  • That means the modern penny (made after 1982) is worth 1.73 cents with production costs included. The nickel, which is made of copper and nickel, is actually worth 8.34 cents when production costs are included.--293.xx.xxx.xx 23:45, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
    • A rather interesting fact, which I happened to know about already. But it still doesn't explain the choice of the word "profit". Making money is not meant to be profitable. That is, the printing and production of currency by a government body is not meant to be profitable for the government. LordAmeth 08:34, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
      • Seigniorage. --293.xx.xxx.xx 19:35, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
        • I entirely agree with LordAmeth - the word "profit" is inaccurate, and should be improved. -Pete 11:39, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
          • Okay, I changed it to read: In addition, the price of copper went down to the point where making the cent would no longer be a money-losing venture. --Keeves 15:43, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
            • Actually, minting money is meant to be 'profitable' for the government. The US Mint is a self-funded agency and gives revenues in excess of it's operating costs to the Treasury. In 2004 the US Mint contributed $665 million to the Treasury's General Fund. Gnosticdogma 18:30, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
              • Seems only one person bothered to look at the article that supports the facts. Revert back. --293.xx.xxx.xx 08:32, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
                • I shouldn't have said "inaccurate." But I stand by my opinion that it's a poor choice of words. An encyclopedia should be written such that it makes sense to people unfamiliar witha given discipline. I would suggest saying "price dropped to the point where the cost of making a cent was significantly less than the value of the coin." Or more along those lines. -Pete 06:16, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
                • Furthermore, the word "profit" in the seigniorage article refers specifically to the case of coin collectors "buying" coins and chosing to take them out of circulation. Thus, it has no bearing on the general issue of coins costing more to manufacture than their face value. -Pete 06:19, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
                  • However 31 USC § 5111(b) refers to the "coinage profit fund," which "[t]he Secretary [of the Treasury] shall credit... with the amount by which the nominal value of the coins minted from the metal exceeds the cost of the metal." Gnosticdogma 17:44, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
                    • I believe the real point is not that it is profitable to make the coin, but that the value of the coin exceeds the value of the copper used to make the coin. While this may make production of the coin profitable for the mint, the real intent is to make sure that it isn't profitable to use pennies as source of copper for other parties. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.17.173.132 (talk) 14:14, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Tarnish[edit]

I've qualified the stament about tarnishing, since aluminium isn't immune to oxidation damage; just highly resistant. Strong salt solutions, particularly somewhat acid ones (drying sweat is a good example), will tarnish aluminium fairly quickly, and even the smallest traces of mercury or soluble mercury salts will produce a rapid exothermic efflorescence of powdery aluminium oxide.

Kay Dekker 11:56, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Subject to Seizure[edit]

While I doubt the Secret Service would really be heartless enough to take one back, just so it can no doubt be destroyed, can someone explain why this statement is included right next to the fact that the smithsonian has one? It's a little confusing -- febtalk 13:19, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

  • It has nothing to do with being heartless - it's their job. The one example was donated to the Smithsonian, most likely, so that it wouldn't be seized. But make no mistake, actually owning one is considered illegal. --cholmes75 (chit chat) 13:33, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Since I see I'm not the only one who was skeptical of the claim, I've placed a {{fact}} tag there. It would be helpful to see the law that refers to this specific coin, or to a government source confirming it. Kafziel Talk 14:21, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

A simple google search finds: http://financialservices.house.gov/media/pdf/071906bd.pdfBRIAN0918 • 2007-01-30 14:27Z

I don't see anything on that page. What did you search for? I tried "aluminum+penny+seized" and I only come up with one third-party source. Kafziel Talk 14:29, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Oops, here's the google cacheBRIAN0918 • 2007-01-30 14:31Z
Well, I see that, but if there's a federal law about it then there must be a better source than some guy from Coin World. Kafziel Talk 14:36, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Coin World is accepted as evidence for a Congressional Subcommittee, but is not good enough for Wikipedia? Nevermind the magazine's popularity in the numismatic community. — BRIAN0918 • 2007-01-30 14:41Z
WP:RS says I'm allowed to ask for sources and I'm allowed to question the validity of sources that are presented. All that source shows me is that it was submitted as evidence; not that it was accepted as evidence. Big difference. As far as I know, Congress hasn't acted on the proposal, so how do I know that the evidence presented was valid? If it's a law that says it's illegal to possess an aluminum cent, let's see it. That's all I'm saying. Kafziel Talk 14:47, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm saying that until we find the specific law in writing, this will suffice. Congress accepted the editor of Coin World as an expert, and accepted her testimony. Nevermind the fact that Coin World is the largest and most widely circulated numismatic news service. — BRIAN0918 • 2007-01-30 14:51Z
Well, I guess it's better than nothing. Thanks! Kafziel Talk 14:54, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
There is also this 1994 article that appeared in COINage that mentions an incident in which the Secret Service actually did what is claimed. — BRIAN0918 • 2007-01-30 14:56Z
That's a good story. Interestingly, though, he also points out that the Secret Service can find "no higher authority than a comment in the fifth edition of the Judd pattern catalog" that says post-1916 coins can be confiscated. In fact, he seems to be saying that the Treasury Department pretty regularly confiscates things without a solid legal basis. Kafziel Talk 15:10, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not that complicated. The US Mint routinely tests designs and alloys by minting coins. Those test coins are the property of the US Mint. Only when a coin has been issued (ie the US Mint has been paid face value for the coin by the Federal Reserve Bank) is it no longer the property of the US Mint. A coin that has never been issued is government property, regardless of who currently possesses it, or how they got it. Gnosticdogma 19:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not arguing that. Just show me the law that backs that up and we're done here. Kafziel Talk 19:14, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
A law that backs what up, specifically? That unissued coins are government property? Gnosticdogma 20:15, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Yep. And the one that empowers the Secret Service to seize them. Look, I don't know what everyone is getting so snippy about. I placed a fact tag on the article. Brian0918 replaced it with an admittedly mediocre source. I didn't get into an edit war about it, or put a tag on there questioning its validity, or anything like that. We're just talking here. The discussion mainly started because the article used to say the coin was "illegal", which it no longer does. But I'd still like to know what the laws are that say they can be seized, and that's by no means an unreasonable request. Kafziel Talk 20:56, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
The law is not going to specifically address one coin. A full explanation of the legalities of possessing an unissued coin would require a legal memo, which I am not going to produce (and would be original research anyway). However, “The position of the United States Mint regarding aluminum one-cent pieces, bearing the year 1974, has been consistent for the nearly three decades since the agency minted them,” the Mint's chief counsel, Daniel P. Shaver, told Coin World soon after ICG's July 1 announcement. “The United States Mint produced these pieces solely as experimental prototypes. None of these prototype coins was ever issued by the secretary of the Treasury or otherwise lawfully released for private ownership. Accordingly, the United States Mint regards all of these pieces as property belonging to the United States and, as such, no one may lawfully circulate, sell, buy, or own them. Moreover, because the United States Mint produced these pieces pursuant to its mission of performing a constitutional power reserved to the federal government, no party may acquire any right or title to one of these pieces, regardless of how the party obtained it. It is therefore the United States Mint's position that any person who possesses one of these aluminum pieces is obligated to return it to the ... Mint.” ([[1]]). Gnosticdogma 22:44, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I know the law isn't going to specifically address one coin. How about the one that empowers them to seize any coins, and specifies the circumstances under which they can do that? The excerpt above is very nice and professional sounding, but this is still just some guy from the mint. The U.S. Mint isn't part of the legislative branch, so what law is he quoting? He doesn't say. I'm not saying it doesn't make sense, or that it isn't true. I have no doubt at all that it's true. But if it's a law, it should be able to be cited. Title, section, etc. Kafziel Talk 22:53, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
There likely isn't any one law he is quoting from. The opinion of the counsel of the U.S. Mint above (which is probably also the opinion of the Department of the Treasury and the Justice Department) is certainly based on many different legal sources, including the federal code, treasury rules and regulations, and the common law. However, for the purposes of this article it doesn't really matter. The coins ARE subject to seizure. The federal government WILL seize unissued coins if they discover them [[2]]. You may question the government's authority to do so, but they'll seize them just the same. Gnosticdogma 02:05, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Given that the Toven Specimen is privately owned, quite famous in numismatic circles, and has not been subject to confiscation, I tend to doubt any other aluminum cents that might turn up will be seized either. 24.214.230.66 (talk) 06:58, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Cool article[edit]

Great job on the article. I had no idea such a thing existed. I seem to be constantly learning interesting things on Wikipedia. -76.4.49.201 20:24, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. --293.xx.xxx.xx 10:55, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Quality Assessment[edit]

As requested here [3] some time ago, I've reviewed & promoted the article from Start class on the quality scale to B class. A collaborative effort could raise this to A. I see this as a potential gem of an article, limited by lack of available reference material/sources. --Whoosit (talk) 04:44, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

1974-aluminum[edit]

i am here only to verify .....found 1 aluminum cent.... not best cond but readible date and features... if correct yhis could be a magnificent find .... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.90.95.213 (talk) 13:23, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 21:00, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 2[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 21:00, 6 June 2011 (UTC)