Copper decimal pennies in the UK, (i.e. pre-1992) weigh 3.56g and as such have 1.9p worth of copper in them.
(based on Cu price of £5.28 /Kg, $3.84/lb)
Based on on total mintage numbers since 1971 their proportion, in a random selection, should be about 30% I believe - but if you do simple sample tests you find it typically well under 15%. Which suggests to me that, since the whole face value vs metal value thing became more common knowledge/publicised in last few years, that they are being 'filtered out' of circulation in significant numbers - either by officialdom or by the wider public.
One would expect that such actions as dropping the penny from use would have the effect of powerfully driving home to the man/woman in the street just exactly how the money in their pocket is losing value? But, from past conversations, I have come to the view that the average Joe/Joanne just doesnt get it or care sufficiently and it is this inability to understand or care that TPTB exploit so well - to pursue policies that continue to debase our money.
When some of the coinage (e.g 5p and 10p coins) were made smaller, to their present size, I could halfway understand/sympathise with many peoples comments/attitude that it was great cos the 'old' coins were so big, weighed down your pocket, etc. BUT to effectively concede that a coin/unit of currency which within just a few tens of years has gone from being able to pay/meaningfully part pay for small but useful things (e.g bus ticket, chewing gum, newspaper, box of matches, etc) is now so worthless that it may as well be scrapped is quite a sobering indictment of ongoing monetary inflation. Will people care any greater when it inevitably becomes the turn of the 2p coin - and the smallest 'practical' unit of our currency will be only a 1/20th of a pound rather than 1/50th?
Edited by anonguest, 01 April 2012 - 03:31 PM.