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Rochester, N.Y. - On a break from shopping at Marketplace Mall, Jannyce Arnold shared a sentimental tradition with her three grand daughters. "Are you ready?" she asked, handing out pennies. "Make a wish."
Plop, plop as the pennies go into the water at the base of the fountain. "I think kids still enjoy it, seeing it go into the water, hoping your wish might come true," she said.
One cent is quite a value when tied to a wish that just may come true. Yet when it comes to its actual value, the coin bearing Lincoln's image falls short. "Believe it or not I throw them away," said Sean DePalma cradling his baby daughter. "I don't really use them. They're worthless to me."
"I have no value to a penny at all," said Roger Davis adding "When I take a penny out of my pocket I just put it in a can."
What can you buy for a penny? Not much and so they collect in jars and drawers forcing the US government to mint more each year.
Yet, each penny produced will cost taxpayers more than it is actually worth.
"I don't have a problem with the federal government doing away with the penny," said Mike Omeluch who has run Ridge Jewelry and Coin for 41 years.
He knows the value of coins and said the penny "operates at a loss" which is something his business cannot afford to do. "You could melt a penny today and get two cents out of it if you could reclaim the elements. That's why the government is losing money," he said.
The cost of zinc and copper rises nearly every year.