The US Mint says it is now costing as much as 1.7 cents to produce a "penny" (1 cent) and 10 cents to produce a "nickel" (5 cents).
The rising price of copper has prompted the US government to consider making coins with cheaper metals.
In April, the US government finally passed a law to make it illegal to melt down US coins, or export them in any quantity abroad. Anyone doing so now faces a fine of up to $10 000, in conjunction with five years in prison.
In India, the government has had to take action after rupee coins were illegally melted down in order to make razor blades. The Australian Royal Mint has warned its citizens it is illegal to melt down Australian dollars.
The British Royal Mint confirmed that the value of the copper in pre-1992 one penny and two penny coins is now greater than the face value [ before the change the composition in 1992 from bronze (97% copper) to copper-coated steel. ] However, anyone trying to melt them down could face a fine or two years in prison.