raw coins & leaves... (part 26)
Image via Steve Lee Now

[twitter]Canada’s penny was killed by the Conservative government in their 2012 Budget today, when it was announced The Royal Canadian Mint will stop pressing the coins with a maple leaf on one side, the Queen on the other, this fall.

The budget says the cost of minting a penny has risen to 1.6 cents or $11 million a year. Its purchasing power has fallen to a 20th of its original value.

“Some Canadians consider the penny more of a nuisance than a useful coin,” the budget documents said.

“The penny is a currency without any currrency in Canada,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said at a news conference.

Pennies will still be legal tender, but as they slowly vanish from circulation, prices will have to be rounded up or down.
[Winnipeg Free Press]

While our friends in the USA have yet to get used to $2 bills, let alone getting rid of their $1 bill, Canadians have already ditched the 1 and 2 for coins, turned our bigger bills into plastic, and now we’re tossing the penny.

If you’re like me, axing the penny comes as a good thing. Mine just sit in a big coin jar. I dont like using them, carrying them, and since they cost more to make than they’re actually worth, killing them off makes sense.

So what are we going to do with all these pennies after they’re taken out of circulation? The Finance Minister suggests we bundle them up for charity – BRILLIANT IDEA. I’ll take every bucket you want to hand me for Team Diabetes. If charity’s not your style, here are 3 other things you can do with your old pennies:

Penny Flooring

The Standard Grill at The Standard Hotel in New York has a penny tiled floor. You can do one yourself too:

standard grill penny tile floor new york city - notcot

Photo from NotCot

Penny Souvenirs

You will need to save a few of your coins for vacations around the world. Cheesy tourist traps love to have press-a-penny booths that often cost a dollar and squish your penny into something silly:

Pressed penny

Photo from ljsinoz

Penny Art

Since pennies get kind of dirty, and aren’t always the same colour, you can use them to make art. Here’s one of Abraham Lincoln using US pennies. Why not try to make one of the Queen using old Canadian pennies?

Or you could use them to cover sculpture. Check out Linda Seidman‘s “Horse Cents” from Germantown, Tennessee:

Horse Cents by Linda Seidman

Photo from Frank Peters

What will you do with your old pennies?

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  1. Michael Kwan March 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    I never really hang on to my pennies in the first place, spending them as I accrue them. That said, by and large, most of my transactions are with plastic (and I’m not talking the new polymer bills) anyhow, so not much is going to change (no pun intended). As it costs 1.6 cents to mint a penny, it makes sense (cents?) to axe it.

  2. confused March 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    i have a crap load of pennies in a huge jar… can i bring them to a bank and exchange it for money?

  3. Buzz March 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Yes, they’re still legal tender, it’s just that they’re being phased out of circulation.

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  5. scarfo March 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

    “Confused” yes they are still legal tender BUT you must roll them before the Bank will accept them.

  6. Lisa March 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    The Bank of Montreal has a nice machine that will count anything you throw into it then you take the receipt to the teller who will give you paper for it. And it does not take 10% like the grocery store machine does.

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  8. C. Thompson May 3, 2012 at 10:59 am

    to Lisa: Does any Bank of Montreal have those machines?

  9. Pingback: What to do with your Canadian Pennies? | The Blog According To Buzz

  10. john Campbell May 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I have just completed making 500 lapel pins out of Canadian pennies with the intent to give them out to different people in different countries/cultures. I have found in the past that they are very well received especially with the children. Tedious work but worth every moment when you see people look at the coin and the generous act from a stranger, they will remember you.

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