Canada Phases Out Penny From Circulation

Category: Markets / Finance / Feb 05, 2013 11:55AM EDT
The Royal Canadian Mint on Monday officially ended its distribution of pennies to financial institutions, saying the cost of production exceeding their monetary value. Stores will still accept them, but they will not give pennies back in change. It is expected to shorten queues at the checkouts, assuming cashiers know about the penny's extinction. "I did not know that," said a shopkeeper. "I don't believe they actually sent anything, like retail council. Nobody sent anything," said another shopkeeper. "I don't know how it's going to work with the round-up, round-down," said yet another shopkeeper. The warning signs have been in place for some time, but retailers have now enforced their policy measures and the change might not end with the penny. "I'm already hearing some that are speculating, that maybe the nickel is the next to go. There's no question that when we're talking about the cashless economy, if you will, that more and more consumers are using their debits cards, more and more consumers are using their credit cards," Satinder Chera, vice-president of Canadian Federation Independent Business. Coins might be increasingly irrelevant, but some people will miss the humble penny. "The only thing I'd miss would be the little idioms like penny for your thought or lucky penny, or things like that," said a shopper. "Recycle the pennies. Don't just throw them away," said another shopper. "I don't use it that much when I get them. Sometimes I just throw them away." said yet another shopper. While the vast majority of pennies will be sent back to the Canadian Mint, a few 'lucky pennies' will end up in the hands of the artists and could take on a whole new lease of life. "It's a great material. It's beautiful. The color is beautiful. It's beautiful when it shines and beautiful when it's tarnished. It speaks to all of us.That's how we count the time passing, so having those references, we remember the past. We need those triggers, otherwise we lose the memories," said Zsolt Szkely, a designer. As Canadians retire the penny from their pockets for some old romantics, the penny lives on. (Video Source: Reuters)