Penny foolish, pound foolish
Here we go again. Congress is investigating the possibility of returning to the steel pennies last seen during WWII as a way of ending the most foolish of circumstances, i.e.; it costs more than a penny to make a penny. 1.26 cents, to be exact.
That's not the end of the idiocy; a nickel costs 7.7 cents to make, according to an AP report. Dimes can be made for 4 cents, a quarter for 10 cents. The millions of oh-so-useful dollar coins (useful as ballast, that is,) cost us 16 cents.
Here's a very cheap solution, Congress; ditch the penny. It's just an annoyance. The reason we need to stamp out so many? People don't want to carry them, since they are so useless. Ditching them would open up a slot in the cash drawer for the $1 coin.
And If you want $1 coins to gain acceptance, quit printing paper ones, and make them easily distinguishable. Some countries have coins with holes in them, others have two-part coins (the English pound, for example), of two different metals. Give that consideration.
If you don't like those ideas, how about this- one day a year, offer to buy back pennies for 1.2 cents apiece. I guarantee you'll be flooded with enough pennies that you can shut down production, and save money.