“Citing low purchasing power and rising production costs, the government has decided to phase the penny out of existence … when the Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing the one-cent coin to financial institutions,” according to CBS News.
Since the penny’s days are numbered for our neighbor to the north, what about here?
The penny debate in America isn’t new. There were at least two bills in Congress, both never made it through the proces, that would have effectively eliminated the 1 cent coin as a unit of currency, leaving the nickel the lowest form of currency in this country, according to Wikipedia.
What I didn’t realize was how much it costs to mint one penny–2.4 cents, or roughly two and a half times its actual value. In Canada, they are cheaper to mint because they are mainly made from steel (94 percent plus copper and tin), costing 1.6 cents per coin, which cost Canada’s economy about $150 million in 2006.
Pennies, according the US Mint, used to be made solely of copper until 1837. Then they went through several morphs, being made of bronze for awhile (95 percent copper, and five percent tin and zinc), then copper and nickle, then copper again, then for a brief while, zinc-coated steel because of WWII and the shortage in copper, and finally, its current composition of copper and zinc.
Some of us are sentimental about this coin. How about you?