Do you know what you’re going to do with your leftover pennies? There are several options out there. Some more creative than others.
Banks across Canada allow members to bring in their pennies in exchange for other forms of cash – nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies, toonies, and bills. The pennies go straight to the government where they melt down the copper, which helps them save $11 million annually according to articles from the Huffington Post and the CBC.
Others have more creative ways of using their pennies. Some people are holding onto them in hopes that the penny will be worth something some day. Others, according to an article on Canada.com, are using the pennies to make jewelry. According to the article, a woman from Halifax named Renee Gruszecki wanted to find a way of preserving the Canadian penny. Over the last year, Gruszecki has been making jewelry in commemoration of the penny, and in hopes it will help the save the penny from being cut entirely from circulation. She’s not the only one with this idea. Other women across the country are making rings, necklaces, and other forms of jewelry out of the penny.
With the phasing out of the penny, and the way that many Canadians are dealing with it, one has to ask: does it really matter in the first place? An article in the Globe and Mail pointed out that the changes that come into effect with rounding a total to the nearest 5 cents wouldn’t actually change anything. Canadians won’t be losing money, nor will they be gaining money. Those of us who shop using a debit or credit card will not be affected. Instead, the price will be the same and won’t be rounded up or down. Considering the fact that it will take years for pennies to be completely removed from circulation, does it really make sense to try to commemorate the penny now? In an article in the Huffington Post, Jim Flaherty, Canada’s Minister of Finance, said the penny was a nuisance. In the same article, a retired Bank of Canada employee had designed a model proving that the penny should have been discontinued in 1982.
If Canadians are really set on preserving the penny and holding onto it, it would make sense that they should put a few pennies aside and remember it that way. It doesn’t seem necessary – albeit it is creative – to try to preserve the penny as jewelry and try to sell it.
This issue seems to be getting more attention than it deserves. There are many different opinions towards the discontinuation of the penny – preserve it, get rid of it, who cares? – that are getting a lot of media attention. On the Huffington Post’s website, you can find up to twelve articles pertaining to the penny. They even have an obituary for the penny, complete with a memorial playlist. The coverage almost seems unnecessary. Yes, the penny isn’t being made anymore; yes, stores won’t be giving it as change and have the option to not accept the penny at all, but there are still millions in circulation and all of this attention doesn’t seem necessary until the penny is literally gone. As it’s mentioned in many articles, including the Huffington Post and the CBC, the real death of the penny won’t happen for some time.