The Canadian penny is slowly being phased out and to be honest I won’t miss having to carry them around in my wallet or hunting them down in the crevices of my car when grabbing coffee at the drive through. However, I am sure they will be missed in the old penny loafers and in small children’s piggy banks. I remember how rich I thought I was because of the all the pennies I had saved; if only the ‘volume’ of money could create that same feeling for me today.
Did you know….
- In 1797 the first British copper penny was struck and minted on a steam-powered press designed by James Watt and Matthew Boulton.
- Until 1996 pennies were made mostly of copper.
- Since 1997 pennies were made with copper-plated zinc or copper-plated steel.
- In 1858 Canada’s first penny was struck by the British Royal Mint in London.
- In 1908 the British Royal Mint opened a branch in Ottawa.
- In 1931 the mint became a wholly Canadian Institute and was renamed the Royal Canadian Mint.
- The 1936 dot is Canada’s most valuable penny worth over $400,000. There are only three known specimens to exist.
- In 1976 the Royal Canadian Mint officially opened and began production of circulation coins in Winnipeg.
- Since 1908 35 billion pennies have been minted.
- Total weight – 94 million kg, 103,617 tons, almost 2x the Titanic.
- Stacked up – 52,600 km high, almost 100,000 CN Towers.
- Side by Side – they would circle around the earth 16 times.
- A penny weighs roughly the same as a small Hummingbird 2.35 g.
- From 1982 – 1996 the shape of the penny changed from perfectly rounded to 12 sided.
- On May 4, 2012 the last penny was struck in Winnipeg
- On Feb 4, 2013 the Royal Canadian Mint ceased distribution of the penny
The penny is still considered legal tender, so if you have been collecting them in jars it is time to roll them up and take them to the bank or better still donate them to Charity.