“Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.” Will the luck a penny carries soon increase? With the end to production of pennies and the slow elimination from circulation, a penny found on the ground might soon become rare.
The Government of Canada announced in their Economic Action Plan 2012 that the penny would be eliminated from the Canadian coinage system. Pennies remain legal tender, but are no longer being minted. They will no longer be distributed after the fall of this year. As pennies are circulated out of existence, however, price rounding will become a requirement in purchases.
Struck in Winnipeg by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on May 4 was the last penny to ever be produced. This historic occasion will be commemorated by placing it in the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa “as a permanent reminder of its contributions to Canada’s economy and history.” As stated in a news release.
With the changes happening in the world the penny came to cost 1.6 cents to make. Paying for such things as labour and metal made it cost more to create the copper coin than what it is worth. In addition to increased production costs “the penny’s purchasing power has eroded over the years.” (www.mint.ca) It has became a problem and is no longer a very useful coin, which is why the decision to stop production was made.
“For the past several years, Canadian taxpayers have been burdened by the rising cost of producing pennies,” Flaherty stated. “While the penny can still be used in day-to-day transactions, our Government is encouraging Canadians to donate their pennies to charities in order to make a difference in their communities.”
Other countries that have made this change include Australia, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The Royal Canadian Mint is a Crown Corporation, which is in charge of minting and distributing Canadian coins. To the world it is considered one of the most dynamic mints “offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale.” (media release)