Some object with the following observation:
But eliminating it would result in greater use of the five-cent coin, the nickel, which costs 11.2 cents to produce.The obvious step is to eliminate the nickel as well. Consider: the real value of a dime today is just a little more than a cent was worth in 1920 i.e. 12 cents. If we got along with a minimum coin value of about today's dime then, why can't we now?
There was a half cent coin produced in the US until 1857, when it was discontinued as not being worth enough to continue in circulation. Its value at that time in today's currency: 14 cents - or almost 1½ dimes. It's clear: making the dime our smallest value coin should be a no-brainer.
Some might argue that we should look to the future, as there will be more inflation, further eroding the value of our coinage. I believe the quarter (worth less than one cent in 1857 values, about two cents in 1920 values) should be our smallest value coin. Consider: in 1858 our smallest value coin was the penny - whose spending power was about 28 cents in today's currency.