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Monday, April 23, 2012

Canadian pennies going the way of the dinosaur

We still haven't gotten around to issuing the final report on our pennies project, but while we dawdle, history marches on. Canada's going to stop making pennies this month, and at some point every price up there will be rounded to the nearest (or more likely, the next highest) nickel.

The United States will probably follow suit at some point, although we still haven't gotten the hang of dollar and two-dollar coins. It's a sad time for those of us who prize the $0.01 piece. God save the Queen.

Comments (5)

The reason why we haven't gotten the hang of the $1 and $2 coins was because Canada looked at getting rid of the $1 bill and replacing it with the loony as an economic issue. Here, the branch of the US Mint that redesigned the dollar coin in 2000 wasn't even allowed to advertise, at the bequest of the family that controls the supply of ink used for US dollar bills. Besides, every time the Mint tries to move forward with further work on making the dollar coin a standard, you get alter kokkers fussing and wharblegarbling about "the Susan B. Anthony looks just like a quarter," and that stops the conversation dead.

If Ben Bernanke and his merry band of counterfeiters quit printing so much money there would be no need to end the penny. End the Fed instead!

Speaking of dinosaurs, the new Canadian quarter provides an anatomical illustration of the Pachyrhinosaurus, and it glows in the dark:

The new $0.25 coin can be purchased for only $29.95. A mere 25K will be minted. It is, of course, no replacement for the copper, and one shouldn't expect to encounter it in change during a Canadian sojourn.

Many American shops have long rejected Canadian pennies. They might be more valuable for the metal that's in them.

Man, I hope they get around to doing this here. I hate dealing with pennies. About as much as I hate dealing with bottle deposits.

The U.S. Treasury doesn't "print money" in any meaningful sense of the term. But regarding the abolition of the penny, it's about time. Nowadays the smallest useful U.S. coin is the quarter, which is worth about what a penny was in 1900. We would get along just fine if pennies, nickels and dimes all went away tomorrow. I habitually leave those three coins in tip jars and penny trays, and I'm far from rich.

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