It costs more to make a Canadian penny than their penny is worth - 1.6 cents for a coin that has a value of 1 cent. It seems that minting pennies is a losing game, and our neighbors to the north have decided to discontinue producing their lowest denomination coin in the fall. Businesses will still accept them as legal tender but the Canadian government has begun to urge retailers to round prices to the nearest nickel.
Although the U.S. penny may someday suffer a similar fate, honest Abe doesn’t have to worry anytime soon. Although there have been groups calling for Americans to go penniless, a majority of us are reluctant to scrap our shiny one cent piece, regardless of the fact that U.S. pennies are even more expensive, costing the U.S. Treasury 2.41 cents apiece.
Are pennies headed back to heaven from whence they came? Can Americans abide by rounding to the nearest nickel or do you think the venerable penny should stick around?
Mark Weller, executive director of Americans for Common Cents, an informal coalition devoted to informing and educating people about the penny’s economic, cultural, and historical significance