A number of readers have noted the action by the U.S. Mint to outlaw the melting down or bulk export of coins
. This has come about because the value of the precious metals contained in coins now exceeds their face value.
The Mint would rather not have to replace pennies (at a cost of 1.73 cents per) or nickels (at 8.74 cents). The expectation is that Congress will mandate new compositions for some U.S. coins in 2007.