The Royal Canadian Mint has today stopped distributing the one cent penny to Canada’s financial institutions. The move was first announced by the Mint nearly a year ago, with the last Canadian penny actually being minted on 4th May 2012.
Whilst they will remain legal tender, the Mint expects to have most of the pennies withdrawn from circulation within three to four years.
The plan to stop minting the penny was motivated by the cost of production, as it is estimated to cost the Royal Canadian Mint 1.6 cents for every 1 cent penny produced.
In addition, inflation has seen the penny become largely irrelevant in many transactions, with the spare coins often being put aside by shoppers.
Nevertheless, Canada and the numismatic community as a whole still holds a lot of affection for the humble penny, which bears a Maple Leaf design – the national symbol of Canada. Consequently, millions of pennies are expected to be collected up by the public. Indeed, we reported back in August last year that the Royal Canadian Mint had even released a $20 silver coin commemorating the penny, which sold out of its 250,000 edition limit in just a few weeks, further demonstrating its lasting appeal to collectors.