Fare thee well, penny!

 Today is the start of the penny phase out in Canada.

Coins of the Canadian dollar

Those small copper coins will no longer end up in our change. We won’t even receive American pennies that usually get mixed up with our own because American tourists won’t be able to use them in Canada. (Thank goodness!) That’s that. The end. In 3-4 years, the pennies will be out of circulation.

During the past few months, I’ve been rolling up pennies in 50 cent tubes. As a coin collector, I enjoy saving coins with significant years or special designs on them. I’ve collected a few pennies from 1967 that marked the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation and feature the rock dove in flight. I’ve saved one from my birth year, though it was most likely minted the year before. One thing I haven’t found yet, unfortunately, is one from 2012, the last year new pennies were minted.

How will this affect us?

No more digging around for the pennies you have to pay for that coffee! The Royal Canadian Mint has a visual aide of what the penny phase out would mean when it comes to cash transactions:

Source: Royal Canadian Mint

Secondly, for those who love English, think of all the idioms we grew up with that will no longer be applicable. Will children and those yet to be born/conceived understand these sayings or even use them? Deanna De Ciccio’s End of the penny: an infographic lists all the penny sayings. Here are a few:

  • a penny for your thoughts
  • my two cents
  • a penny saved is a penny earned
  • lucky penny

Well, at least those pennies you find on the pavement will really be lucky! ;D

What’s next?

Recently, I’d read an article on the penny phase out and the author suggested that the nickel might be next. The melodramatic in me cried out, ‘Oh no, it’s too much to bear!’ Yet really, when I do carry change with me, which coins do I keep in my purse? Just the quarters, loonies and toonies. I’ve already rolled up the pennies, nickels and dimes at home. Here’s an article in Maclean’s on getting rid of more coins: So long, penny. Why don’t you take the nickels and dimes with you, too?

What will I do with all my pennies?

I’ve already rolled up 3 rolls of 50 cents each. Initially, I had in mind to take them to the bank and add the change to my bank account. However, now that I know Free The Children is planning a penny coin drive, I’ll drop off the rolls to RBC, where they’re collecting pennies from 4-9 Feb for FTC’s clean water projects around the world.

Free The Children’s clean water projects campaign

This is also my chance to visit the Art Deco RBC on Hastings St. It’s beautiful inside!

What are your plans for the penny retirement?