The Canadian government has decided to save millions of dollars by pinching the penny out of existence. The Royal Canadian Mint—which makes 25 pennies per Canadian every year, at a cost of 1.5 cents per coin—will stop producing pennies next month, and the government will start withdrawing pennies from circulation this fall, reports the Globe and Mail. 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.
"The penny is a currency without any currency," declared the country's finance minister, who described the coin as a "nuisance," and urged Canadians to get rid of hoarded coins. "Free your pennies from their prisons at home, and donate them to charity," he said. The government suggests transactions be rounded off to the nearest nickel, but it says it will leave businesses to decide for themselves how they want to handle the penny's demise. (Read more penny stories.)