Penny (Canadian coin)

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Penny
Canada
Value0.01 CAD
Mass2.35 g
Diameter19.05 mm
Thickness1.45 mm
Edgesmooth
Composition94% steel,
1.5% Ni,
4.5% Cu plating
Years of minting1858–2012
Catalog numberCC 20
Obverse
Canadian Penny - Obverse.png
DesignElizabeth II, Queen of Canada
DesignerSusanna Blunt
Design date2003
Reverse
Canadian Penny - Reverse.png
DesignMaple leaf branch
DesignerG.E. Kruger Gray
Design date1937

In Canada, a penny is a coin worth one cent, or ​1100 of a dollar. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, the official national term of the coin is the "one-cent piece", but in practice the terms penny and cent predominate. Originally, "penny" referred to a two-cent coin. When the two-cent coin was discontinued, penny took over as the new one-cent coin's name. Penny was likely readily adopted because the previous coinage in Canada (up to 1858) was the British monetary system, where Canada used British pounds, shillings, and pence as coinage alongside U.S. decimal coins and Spanish milled dollars.

In Canadian French, the penny is called a cent, which is spelled the same way as the French word for "hundred" but pronounced like the English word (homophone of "sent"). Slang terms include cenne, cenne noire, or sou noir (black penny), although common Quebec French usage is sou.

Production of the penny ceased in May 2012,[1] and the Royal Canadian Mint ceased the distribution of them as of February 4, 2013.[2] However, like all discontinued currency in the Canadian monetary system, the coin remains legal tender. Once distribution of the coin ceased, though, vendors were no longer expected to return pennies as change for cash purchases, and were encouraged to round purchases to the nearest five cents.[3] Non-cash transactions are still denominated to the cent.

Description[edit]

Like all Canadian coins, the obverse depicts the reigning Canadian monarch at the time of issue. The final obverse depicts Queen Elizabeth II; her likeness has seen three design updates, the first occurring in 1965, a 1990 update to the design of Dora de Pedery-Hunt, and the 2003 update designed by Susanna Blunt.[4] A special reverse side, depicting a rock dove, was issued in 1967 as part of a Centennial commemoration.[5] It was designed by the Canadian artist Alex Colville and its use in 1967 marked the only time the 1937 maple leaf design was not used for the penny before it was discontinued in 2012.[6] The maple twig depicted on the coin is botanically incorrect.[7] The phyllotaxis of the twig on the coin is clearly alternate while maples in fact always have opposite leaves.

The 2012 coin had a round, smooth edge, as was the case for most of the penny's history; however, from 1982 to 1996, the coin was twelve-sided. This was done to help the visually impaired identify the coin.[8] However, the new copper-plated zinc coin proved difficult to plate in the twelve-sided shape, so the Mint switched back to a round shape.[9]

History[edit]

An 1876 penny featuring Queen Victoria
A 1902 penny featuring King Edward VII
A 1911 penny featuring King George V
A 1920 penny featuring King George V, the first year of the small penny
A 1937 penny featuring King George VI

The first Canadian cent was minted in 1858 and had a diameter of 1 inch (25.4 mm) and a weight of 1100 pound (4.54 g). These cents were originally issued to bring some kind of order to the Canadian monetary system, which, until 1858, relied on British coinage, bank and commercial tokens (francophones calling them sous, an historical term from the French currency), U.S. currency and Spanish milled dollars. The coin's specifications were chosen with the intention of the coins also being useful as measuring tools. However, their light weight compared to the bank and merchant halfpenny tokens readily available at the time was a serious hindrance to their acceptance by the public. Some of the coins were even sold at a 20% discount, and were inherited by the Dominion government in 1867. Fresh production of new cents (with the weight increased to 15 ounce or 5.67 grams) was not required until 1876.[10]

The large cents of 1858–1920 were significantly larger than modern one-cent coins and even slightly larger than the modern 25¢ piece (its diameter being 23.88 millimetres or 0.940 inches). After Confederation, these large cent coins were struck on the planchet of the British halfpenny and were roughly the same value. Pennies were issued sporadically in the third quarter of the 19th century. They were used in the Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia upon Confederation in 1867. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia had issued their own coinage prior to that date, with British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland continuing to issue "pennies" until they joined Confederation. The coin was reduced in size to its current size to match the size of the American penny.[11]

1936 dot cent[edit]

The rare 1936 dot cent is as notable in Canadian numismatics as the 50¢ piece of 1921. There were four minted specimens of this coin, produced with the dot to show they were made in 1937 while the mint was waiting for new dies due to a delay caused by the abdication of King Edward VIII and the need to create new dies for his successor, George VI. The last one sold at Heritage Auctions in January 2010 for over US$400,000 (this does not include taxes). It was graded specimen 66 by the Professional Coin Grading Service. Three known examples are in private collections, and the fourth is not in the Ottawa Currency Museum; it is one of few gaps in the museum's collection.

1947 Maple Leaf issue[edit]

In contrast to the 1936 issues, the 1948 cents dated 1947 and specially marked are very common. These 1947 Maple Leaf coins were made while the dies were being changed to show George VI was no longer Emperor of India, as the title of "Emperor of India" was dropped from the titles of the Crown per article 7.2 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom's Indian Independence Act 1947.

Composition throughout history[edit]

Years Mass Diameter/Shape Composition[12]
2000–2012 * 2.35 g 19.05 mm (​34 inch), round 94% steel, 1.5% nickel, 4.5% copper plating
1997–1999 * 2.25 g 19.05 mm (​34 inch), round 98.4% zinc, 1.6% copper plating
1982–1996 2.5 g 19.05 mm (​34 inch), 12-sided 98% copper, 1.75% tin, 0.25% zinc
1980–1981 2.8 g 19.05 mm (​34 inch), round 98% copper, 1.75% tin, 0.25% zinc
1978–1979 3.24 g 19.05 mm (​34 inch), round 98% copper, 1.75% tin, 0.25% zinc
1942–1977 3.24 g 19.05 mm (​34 inch), round 98% copper, 0.5% tin, 1.5% zinc
1920–1941 3.24 g 19.05 mm (​34 inch), round 95.5% copper, 3% tin, 1.5% zinc
1876–1920 5.67 g 25.4 mm (1 inch), round 95.5% copper, 3% tin, 1.5% zinc
1858–1859 4.54 g 25.4 mm (1 inch), round 95% copper, 4% tin, 1% zinc (bronze)
  • Although the RCM states 2000 as the year of transition from zinc to steel, zinc-core cents were issued in every year of the 2000s, except 2008. Steel cents dated before 2002 are test pieces for calibrating coin-operated machines, and are very rare in circulation.

From May 2006 to October 2008, all circulation Canadian pennies from 1942 to 1996 had a melt value of over $0.02 CAD based on the increasing spot price of copper in the commodity markets. The break-even price for a 2.8 g solid copper penny is $1.61 USD/lb, with prices during this period reaching as high as $4 USD/lb.[13]

Abolition[edit]

There had been repeated debate about ceasing production of the penny because of the cost of producing it and a perceived lack of usefulness. In mid-2010 the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance began a study on the future of the one-cent coin.[14] On December 14, 2010, the Senate finance committee recommended[15] the penny be removed from circulation, arguing that a century of inflation had eroded the value and usefulness of the one-cent piece. A 2007 survey indicated that 37 percent of Canadians used pennies, but the government continued to produce about 816 million pennies per year, equal to 24 pennies per Canadian.[16] The Royal Canadian Mint had been forced to produce large numbers of pennies because they disappeared from circulation, as people hoarded these coins or simply avoided using them. In 2011 the Royal Canadian Mint had minted 1.1 billion pennies, more than doubling the 2010 production number of 486.2 million pennies.[17] In late 2010, finance committee members of the Canadian Senate estimated that the average Canadian had as many as 600 pennies hoarded away, taken out of circulation.[15]

On March 29, 2012, the federal government announced in its budget[18] that it would withdraw the penny from circulation in the fall of 2012. The budget announcement eliminating the penny cited the cost of producing it at 1.6 cents.[18] The final penny was minted at the RCM's Winnipeg, Manitoba plant on the morning of May 4, 2012.[19] Existing pennies will remain legal tender indefinitely;[20] however, pennies were withdrawn from circulation on February 4, 2013.[21] Only pennies produced in 1982 or later are still legally "Circulation Coins".[22] The Currency Act says that "A payment in coins [...] is a legal tender for no more than [...] twenty-five cents if the denomination is one cent."[23]

On February 4, 2013, Google celebrated the beginning of the end for the Canadian penny with a Google Doodle.[24] On the same day the Canadian Mint began melting down the estimated 35 billion pennies that are in circulation.[25]

Cash transactions are now rounded to the nearest 5¢.[26]

Commemorative editions[edit]

Year Theme Artist Mintage Special notes
1967 Canadian Centennial Alex Colville 345,140,645 Features a rock dove in flight.
1992 Canada 125 G. E. Kruger Gray 673,512,000 Dated as '1867–1992'.
2002 Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II G. E. Kruger Gray 716,367,000 Dated as '1952–2002'.

First strikes[edit]

Year Theme Mintage Issue price
2005 First day cover 1,799 $14.95
2006 With new mint mark 5,000 $29.95

Mintage[edit]

List of the mintage of every year
Victoria
Year Mintage[27]
1858 421,000
1859 9,579,000
1876 H 4,000,000
1881 H 2,000,000
1882 H 4,000,000
1884 2,500,000
1886 1,500,000
1887 1,500,000
1888 4,000,000
1890 H 1,000,000
1891 1,452,500
1892 1,200,000
1893 2,000,000
1894 1,000,000
1895 1,200,000
1896 2,000,000
1897 1,500,000
1898 H 1,000,000
1899 2,400,000
1900
1900 H
2,600,000
1901 4,100,000
Edward VII
Year Mintage[28]
1902 3,000,000
1903 4,000,000
1904 2,500,000
1905 2,000,000
1906 4,100,000
1907 2,400,000
1907 H 800,000
1908 2,401,506
1909 3,973,339
1910 5,146,487
George V (large)
Year Mintage
1911 4,663,486
1912 5,107,642
1913 5,735,405
1914 3,405,958
1915 4,932,134
1916 11,022,367
1917 11,899,254
1918 12,970,798
1919 11,279,634
1920 6,762,247
George V (small)
Year Mintage
1920 15,483,923
1921 7,601,726
1922 1,243,635
1923 1,019,002
1924 1,593,195
1925 1,000,622
1926 2,143,372
1927 3,553,928
1928 9,144,860
1929 12,159,840
1930 2,538,613
1931 3,842,776
1932 21,316,190
1933 12,079,310
1934 7,042,358
1935 7,526,400
1936
1936 Dot
8,768,769
George VI
Year Mintage
1937 10,040,231
1938 18,365,608
1939 21,600,319
1940 85,740,532
1941 56,336,011
1942 76,113,708
1943 89,111,969
1944 44,131,216
1945 77,268,591
1946 56,662,071
1947 31,093,901
1947 ML 43,855,448
1948 ATD
1948 ABD
1949 ATD
25,767,779
1949 ABD 33,128,933
1950 60,444,992
1951 80,430,379
1952 67,631,736
Elizabeth II
Year Mintage
1953 67,806,016
1954 22,181,760
1955 56,403,193
1956 78,685,535
1957 100,601,792
1958 59,385,679
1959 83,615,343
1960 75,772,775
1961 139,598,404
1962 227,244,069
1963 279,076,334
1964 484,655,322
1965 304,441,082
1966 183,644,388
1967 345,140,645
1968 329,695,772
1969 335,240,929
1970 344,145,010
1971 298,228,936
1972 451,304,591
1973 457,058,489
1974 692,058,489
1975 642,618,000
1976 701,122,890
1977 453,050,666
1978 911,170,647
1979 753,942,953
Elizabeth II (cont.)
Year Mintage
1980 911,800,000
1981 1,209,468,500
1982 876,036,898
1983 975,510,000
1984 838,225,000
1985 771,772,500
1986 788,285,000
1987 774,549,000
1988 482,676,752
1989 1,066,628,200
1990 218,035,000
1991 831,001,000
1992 673,512,000
1993 808,585,000
1994 639,516,000
1995 624,983,000
1996 445,746,000
1997 549,868,000
1998 999,578,000
1999 1,089,625,000
2000 902,506,000
2001 928,434,000
2002 830,040,000
2003 748,123,000
2004 842,486,000
2005 767,425,000
2006 1,261,883,000
2007 846,420,000
2008 787,625,000
2009 455,680,000
2010 486,200,000
2011 662,750,000
2012 199,347,000

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Canada's last penny minted". CBC News.
  2. ^ "Eliminating the Penny". Government of Canada. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Phasing out the Penny". Department of Finance, Government of Canada. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  4. ^ http://www.mint.ca/store/mint/learn/faces-of-the-monarch-1100026?cat=Faces+of+the+Monarch&nId=1100026&nodeGroup=Learn
  5. ^ The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p. 72, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6
  6. ^ http://www.mint.ca/store/mint/learn/history-timeline-4000020#.UYPys9deu8Y
  7. ^ Mahoney, Jill. "$20 bill's maple leaf isn't Canadian, botanists say". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  8. ^ Coins of Canada, J.A. Haxby & R.C. Willey, Unitrade Press (2002), ISBN 1-894763-09-2
  9. ^ Royal Canadian Mint Currency Timeline, p. 9.
  10. ^ The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W. K. Cross, p. 57, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6
  11. ^ http://www.mint.ca/store/mint/learn/history-timeline-4000020#.UYPys9deu8Y
  12. ^ "A national symbol–the 1-cent coin". Royal Canadian Mint. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  13. ^ Kitco – Spot Copper Historical Charts and Graphs – Copper charts – Industrial metals
  14. ^ http://parl.gc.ca/common/Committee_SenProceed.asp?Language=E&Parl=40&Ses=3&comm_id=13
  15. ^ a b "Penny should be scrapped: Senate panel". CBC News. December 14, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
  16. ^ "100th anniversary of the Canadian penny" (PDF). Desjardins Group. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  17. ^ "Canada's penny withdrawal: All you need to know". CBC News. April 2, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  18. ^ a b "Budget 2012: Chapter 5: Responsible Management to Return to Balanced Budgets". Government of Canada. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  19. ^ "Canada's Last Penny: Final Cent Struck In Winnipeg Friday As Currency Killed". Canadian Press/Huffington Post Canada. 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
  20. ^ "The penny's days are numbered". CBC. 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  21. ^ Pedwell, Terry (30 July 2012). "A penny saved: Canadian coin to stick around until 2013". The Vancouver Sun. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  22. ^ Royal Canadian Mint Act R.S.C., 1985, c. R-9: Section 6 - "Non-circulation Coins" and "Circulation Coins"; Part 1 - "Non-circulation Coins"; Part 2 - "Circulation Coins"
  23. ^ "Canada Currency Act". Retrieved 2012-10-26.
  24. ^ "Canadian penny honoured with Google Doodle". The Toronto Star. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  25. ^ "A penniless Canada: Mint begins years-long process of collecting and melting down 82-million kg in coins". The National Post. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  26. ^ "Phasing out the penny - Rounding". Royal Canadian Mint. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  27. ^ https://www.jandm.com/script/getitem.asp?CID=3&PID=76
  28. ^ http://www.mint.ca/store/mint/learn/1-cent-5300004#.V2MnY_krL4Y

External links[edit]