February 12, 2013 – Now in Canada the amount of pennies in circulation can only decrease because on February 4, 2013 the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) has stopped shipping 1-cent pieces to retailers and banks. However, some 35 billion pennies are still circulating and according to a RCM spokesperson it will probably take four or five years until these coins will have been collected and melted down. They remain, in any case, legal tender indefinitely.
Although this operation was announced one year ago, a recent poll revealed that 88 per cent of the consumers ignored about the penny being eliminated. They should note the effects soon, though, since prices will generally be rounded to the nearest nickel – up or down is at the retailer’s discretion. For the retailers this means often new cash-register systems or at least costly adaptations. So some have declared they will simply adjust the price by hand leaving their cash-registering system untouched. Electronic payment will not be affected by this anyway.
Some Canadians started to see the penny as a national icon and try to preserve it by using it for jewellery and artistic purpose. The Bank of Canada’s Currency Museum has also provided to preserve the coin to future generations.
You can read a detailed article on the penny’s phasing out on National Post …
… and The Globe and Mail.
We did publish an article on hidden costs of the penny’s elimination.