Canadian Pennies Are No More
Mint stops distributing coins today
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 4, 2013 8:14 AM CST
Canada is ending the distribution of pennies.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – That's it for Canada's penny: Today is the last day the coin will be distributed after minting stopped in May as a cost-saving measure. Still, there are 6 billion pennies in circulation, so they could be around for a long time: "We estimate three to four years" as they are pulled from circulation, says a Royal Canadian Mint rep. For cash shoppers, that means prices will be rounded up or down to the nearest nickel; for those paying by card, prices won't change, the Province reports.

Consumers can drop pennies off at their local banks, donate them to charities, or use them at stores' discretion, the Globe and Mail notes. Just 52.9% of Canada's Retail Council members are ready for the shift, the council found. Some 81.5% think it'll cost them no more than $5,000. As for consumers, "the net impact ... is that it balances out," says an analyst. The Wall Street Journal 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.
On a separate note, today's Canadian Google doodle features a penny, the Global News reports.

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
Mar 11, 2014 10:19 PM CDT
Stopped counting pennies years ago in our check book- By rounding checks paid to nearest $1, when you balance your check book at month's end, there's always extra$
Feb 10, 2013 3:38 AM CST
Canadian pennies in US tills anyway.
Feb 5, 2013 5:34 AM CST
Rounding up or down won't affect every item when making multiple cash purchases, as in grocery shopping. Only the total amount needs to be rounded. Debit and charge cards purchases are unaffected by the change. It's time has come in the USA too.