Saturday, April 14, 2012

Canadian Coins: Some Observations

Pennies to Go Out of Circulation

Canadian pennies (one-cent coins)

The Canadian penny – a one-cent copper coin – is to get out of circulation in near future after being in service for 154 years. According to the Government, inflation is the main reason for taking such a decision. A one-cent coin actually costs more than the price of the amount of metal used in producing it. 

Some Canadians like these pennies for collection, for saving and for some other purpose. Others get annoyed and feel burdened when pennies get accumulated in their wallets and pockets.

Now, without the pennies, prices of items will be rounded up or down. In reality, will the stores round down the prices? Many think that customers, in the long run, will be paying more than the actual prices. 

Canadian Coins: Irregularity in Their Sizes

(L-R:) The tooney, looney, quarter, dime, nickel and penny
Canada has following coins: tooney (two-dollar coin), looney (one-dollar coin), quarter (25-cent coin), dime (10-cent coin), nickel (5-cent coin) and penny (1-cent coin). 

The sizes ofthese coins are not sequential according to their face values, for example – tooney (28mm), looney (26.5mm), quarter (23.88mm), dime (18.03mm), nickel (21.2mm) and penny (19.05mm). The dime is smaller in size than nickel and penny. 

For this irregularity in sizes, many Canadians sometimes mix up coins in taking and giving changes, especially with the quarters and nickels. Some people inadvertently identify nickels with quarters or vice versa. What about blind people?

The Canadian government should pay some attention to this dilemma and rectify the matter by reducing the sizes of coins sequentially according to their face values.

Dirty, Rusty and Discoloured Coins

Rusty and discoloured nickels and pennies that were 
inside  bank-supplied nickel and penny rolls
Can you recognize these two coins? These are two pennies -- examples 
of dirty coins found in a bank-supplied penny roll
All photos (Toronto: April, 2012) © Jerome D'Costa 

In Canada, there are few people who did not come across dirty, rusty and discoloured coins. These coins are the result of oxidization of metals in them. Although many of these coins become worthless and useless, yet they keep on circulating. Stores get them from customers and pass them on to banks and customers. The customers, in turn, use them when paying in stores. 

When banks get these damaged coins, they should stop passing them on to their customers and stores. It would be best if they would become gatekeepers for these coins and get them out of circulation.  

Healthy as well as sick hands handle coins daily. As a result, coins, all over the world, are known for acting as one of the vehicles for spreading diseases. 

Germs are more likely to cling on to dirty, rusty and discoloured coins and spread fast among their handlers. 

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