Canadian Pennies Are No More

Mint stops distributing coins today

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 4, 2013 8:14 AM CST

(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.

Canada is ending the distribution of pennies.   (Shutterstock)
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