NO LUCKY PENNY
As of Friday May 4th, 2012, The Royal Canadian Mint stopped producing the 1 cent coin. Apparently it costs 1.6 cents to produce a 1 cent penny, so I can understand why the government has thrown in the towel. Introduced to Canadians over 100 years ago, I guess it was time to retire the little guy. I probably won’t miss the penny too much, but I recall a certain amount of joy when I would find a “lucky penny” as a kid. And there is something timeless about the Canadiana image of the maple leaves on the 1 cent coin. The design of the penny has been pretty much untouched for years, although the Canadian Mint has tinkered with other coins designs over the past decade or so, and now there are quite a few versions of the 25 cent Quarter in circulation (remember when it was something special to find a mountie?). Some of those designs are pretty good, others… not so much.
The production of the last penny falls fairly close to the 25 anniversary of the 1 dollar coin, our beloved “loonie”. I remember when these were first introduced in 1987 and I was pretty excited to get my hands on one. Is the loonie the new penny? Some days it sure feels like it.
Last week I took in a couple of buckets of old change to the free coin counter at the BMO and cashed in over $250 worth of coins. I suspect it will be a while before the poor Canadian penny is not accepted as legal tender, but I thought it would be a good idea to get them out of my house.