Kempt

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Count Your Pennies While You May

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We may be witnessing the twilight of the penny.

With public spending on an increasingly short leash, a chorus of economists are calling for the abolition of the one-cent coin as a way to trim government waste. Since it costs 1.7 cents to produce each one, keeping the coin in circulation is costing us $70 million dollars a year, enough to buy over a thousand shark submarines for the nation’s impoverished style bloggers. In other words, we’ll miss Lincoln, but we’ll get over it.

More importantly, it’s time to get a jump on nostalgia. A decade from now, you may look back on this as the golden age of small change.

The Union Shield

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We’re not usually much for coin collecting, but the latest plans for the penny just caught our eye.

Starting this year, you’ll start to see pennies with this symbol on their back half, thanks to some timely nostalgia at the U.S. Mint—and we couldn’t be happier. The symbol in the middle, far and away our favorite part, is called the Union Shield. It dates back to the 1780s, and you can see a few of them around the frescoes of the Capitol if you're the touring kind, making it one of the cooler retro revivals of the year so far.

We’ve never been thrilled about the flag pin revival of the 00s, but if everyone threw these on their lapels (this one, for instance), we would definitely be game.