Former U.S. Mint Director Philip Diehl has advice for anyone who has ever come across a penny and thought about bending over to pick it up.
Don't. You'll be earning less than the minimum wage for your troubles.
Diehl, now the president of coin distributor U.S. Money Reserve, is one voice in a chorus that wants to abolish the penny. In fact, he tried to do just that during his time as the 35th director of the U.S. Mint.
At issue is the fact that the penny now costs more to make than it's worth. The U.S. Mint loses tens of millions of dollars each year producing pennies, which cost 1.8 cents to produce.
But some say eliminating the penny will distort prices and perhaps even create mild inflation. Diehl, however, says there is not much to that assertion.
"I think it's an argument that has been used for the last 25 years by the penny lobby that supports keeping the penny," he said. "The reality is that about 25 percent of all transactions are now in cash. The other 75 is in electronic forms of one type or another."