Monday, February 4, 2013

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS



The Mint stopped producing coppers seven months ago. Today is the final day that pennies will be distributed. 

Those of you that still use currency will see prices rounded up or down to the nearest nickel. Those that use credit or debit cards will not see a change

The Royal Canadian Mint said it cost 1.5 cents per penny to produce. Hence the cost savings of eliminating them from the banking system. Up until 2013 the Mint made 25 pennies per Canadian every year. The government estimates the move will save it $11 million per year, and save the private sector many millions more in counting and transportation costs.

Future generations will not understand sayings like “a penny for your thoughts”,” Penny Wise Pound Foolish”, or “a Penney saved is a penny earned”.  The Penny will reside in the domain of coin collectors.

The Wall Street Journal has an article that reflects on more than 150 years of Canadian pennies:

  • The first was minted in 1858.
  • Since 1908, 35 billion have been minted—enough to circle the Earth 16 times.
  • A 1936 one-cent coin known as the Dot is worth a lot more than a cent: One recently sold for $402,500.

 
The Canadian Google doodle features a penny today.

As coin and stamp collector, I have seen currency change designs. The penny has been getting smaller and smaller. Now it is gone all together.


As Newfoundland did not join Canada until 1949, it had its own currency for many decades. We had a wide selection of decimal coinage including a twenty cent coin. In the lead up to World War Two our coinage was printed by the Canadian Mint. 

In 1937, the Royal Commission that ruled the colony opted for a smaller penny with a freakish looking pitcher plant. The change in size was a cost saving measure.



Newfoundland pennies were last pressed in 1947.

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