Last of the Pennies

I know: I’m on top of some items of news, but some things take me a while to connect in to. Today I got an email from the Canadian Mint, offering a silver replica of the Canadian Penny. It actually looked great, and I’m thinking about getting one. But the title surprised me: “Farewell to the Canadian Penny”.

I’d been aware of the discussions, and knew of the reasons. Especially in Canada, where we don’t have anything less than a $5 bill, the amount of change that can be accumulated is significant. And because there are loonies ($1 coins) and toonies ($2 coins) mixed in with the rest, the amount of that change can be significant. Except for the lowly penny, which is hardly worth enough to care about.

Apparently last March, the finance minister announced that the penny would be eliminated from our monetary system, and the last penny was struck soon afterwards. (CBC) Indeed, it seems that the penny uses more than 1¢ worth of metal to produce (the Canadian cent is worth 1.6 cents… the American cent is worth 2.4 cents) (Snopes). Americans are entirely too tied to their monetary system to hope for change very soon: but in Canada it is coming about. The reasons are numerous: this site (SavingAdvice.com) may be American, but the reasons are the same in Canada. Other countries to have done so are Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Israel and South Africa. Most of us have forgotten, for instance, that in the nineteenth century we all had half penny denominations. Times change, and money changes with it.

I suppose I should return my pennies to the bank. I probably have a number of toonies worth of change…

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One Response to Last of the Pennies

  1. Sam Ellis says:

    I think we should get rid of pennies and $1 bills in the U.S. A big reason for the repeated failure of $1 coins here, I think, is because they always resembled quarters too much.

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