Like most folks, I just adore Snopes - they have an excellent feed of all the urban legends to hit the Internet. This recent one about the cost of making pennies hit home for me. Apparently, it costs 1.2 cents to produce one penny. Fascinating! They make it very clear that it still does not mean we should quit producing pennies - after all, that single penny will be used hundreds of times over, thus making it worth the manufacture.
I am an avid collector of money - I prefer coins, but I have some paper currency as well. I do have a collection of pennies, carefully categorized and all. I also have a pretty extensive foreign collection (some of my favorites are my coins from Kenya, Israel and some hand-stamped ones from India that my Indian step-grandmother passed to me.) In college, I had a lot of international friends. When they would go home for breaks, they would ask me if I wanted them to bring anything back. I would laugh and tell them I only wanted their pocket change. Literally.
My money collection is probably only worth face value, it is just a fun hobby for me - nothing more. One of my greatest regrets while working for the Federal Reserve is that when we were at the Philadelphia bank we were going to try and score a tour with the US Mint which was nearby. However, we could not work it into our tight schedule. My co-worker was equally fascinated with the cash process, so we tried to tour as many of the Cash Depts. as possible when we were traveling to all the Feds as part of the Check 21 project.
While I am on topic (sort of), I actually would like to see Mad Money - the premise is some Fed workers figure out a way to steal money that is marked for destruction. I would like to see how they figured that one out because the Fed has some pretty tight ways to prevent that and there are cameras EVERYWHERE in the Cash Dept. Chronic nose pickers beware!