Dick Johnson submitted these thoughts on the melting of Canadian cents by the Royal Canadian Mint.
Canada is approaching a notable event in a few days. On February 4, 2013 the Royal Canadian Mint will begin accepting shipments of cent coins to be scrapped for their metal content.
It is expected six billion cents will be retired and melted. This will occur at a rate of a billion cents a year over the next six years. No announcement has been made as to the disposition of the recycled metal.
A large number of cents will be handled by Coinstar Inc. of Canada which receives a large portion of cents in the coins that are deposited in their machines in exchange for cash. Coinstar charges a 12 percent fee for exchanging coins for cash in Canada.
I have mentioned this Canadian cent retirement in The E-Sylum before. Now the success of the cent abolishment is influencing Canadians to consider the same fate for their nickel. While some citizens consider such a move a sacrilege because the fact nickel mining is a major industry in the country. Others, notably Jean-Pierre Aubry, a former 30-year economist for the Bank of England, insists the nickel is obsolete and should be the next coin for retirement.
"We see less and less people now .... digging in their wallets for nickels," he said in a recently interview, Aubry was a major proponent for eliminating the cent from circulation.
He stated the cent reached the tipping point for elimination in 1982 (undoubtedly with the rise in copper price at that time). He is delighted the cent has finally reached that point, even 30 years later. He also relates the nickel has long since passed its tipping point . He left unsaid his hope would not require 30 years to retire the nickel.
This news comes on the crest of my Op-Ed piece in last week's E-Sylum, originally published in the Wall Street Journal, for replacing low value coins in America with high value coins $5 and $10 circulating coins; And a big thanks to editor Wayne Homren for running nearly the entire length of that article last week.
It is my hope that U.S. Treasury officials are closely watching the events in Canada. They should consider an intelligent revamping of our entire coinage system and not the patchwork of killing one coin at a time.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
DICK JOHNSON PROPOSES MAKING RITTENHOUSE STATUE OF MELTED CENTS
THE BOOK BAZARRE
THE PRIVATE SKETCHBOOK OF GEORGE T. MORGAN
, by Karen M. Lee, curator, National Numismatic Collection. Now available from Whitman Publishing: an eye-opening immersion into Morgan's life, including 80 pages of his personal and professional sketchbook. Hardcover. $29.95. Visit
or call 800-546-2995.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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