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The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 1, January 5, 2020, Article 29

LOOSE CHANGE: JANUARY 5, 2020

Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor

Don't Eliminate the U.S. Cent

On his JET Numismatics blog this week Jack Topping wrote about the lowly U.S. Cent. -Editor

2019-lincoln-shield-cent As the year comes to a close, I took a moment to look at the United States Mint's 2019 production numbers for the one cent coin, commonly referred to as the “penny”. The overall number for circulating pennies surprised me, totaling at “6838.4M”, or in other terms, 6,838,400,000 one cent coins for this year alone. These figures, taken from the U.S. Mint's Production Sales Figures page on their website tally up 3.352 billion and 3.486 billion pennies from the Denver and Philadelphia mints, respectively.

While I am not in favor of eliminating the penny, I think the number is honestly beyond comprehension. To put this in perspective, one billion seconds amounts to 31.69 years. Take a second and try to picture that in pennies.

Even though the buying power of the one cent coin is considerably low, it still is an opportunity for new collectors to enter the hobby. Collecting Lincoln Memorial and Lincoln Shield cents is a great and relatively inexpensive way to start a collection. As someone who started their collection with Lincoln cents, they hold a special place in my collection, yet at the same time it's important to recognize where these cents stand in public opinion. Even as a coin collector, I can recognize that nearly seven billion coins per year is a lot, knowing full well that it's proportional to the millions of citizens living in the United States.

Instead of producing billions of pennies annually (keeping in mind they are produced at 2.08 cents each as of 2018) the penny should continue to exist in the American economy, but new pennies should not be produced for circulation. Instead, a small amount (relative to 2019's nearly seven billion figure) could be minted to provide numismatists and enthusiasts alike to continue their collection, while at the same time alleviating unnecessary cost to taxpayers.

To read the complete article, see:
“Penny For Your Thoughts: Don't Eliminate the U.S. Cent” by Jack Topping (https://jetnumismatics.com/2019/12/31/penny-for-your-thoughts-dont-eliminate-the-u-s-cent/)

New Brunswick Banknotes Up For Auction

The CBC News published an article about a collection of New Brunswick banknotes being auctioned this month by Heritage. -Editor

central-bank-of-new-brunswick fiver shillings note

In the market for some old Canadian cash, say from the Westmorland Bank, established in The Bend of the Petitocodiac before it became Moncton?

More than 100 New Brunswick banknotes from the mid-1800s are going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder in Florida next week.

The banknotes belong to the collection of Rick Johnston, a Doaktown native who now lives in Calgary.

To read the complete article, see:
'A little bit of history': New Brunswick banknotes up for auction in Florida (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/history-new-brunswick-banknotes-auction-1.5412632)

Judge's Ruling Could Boost Vegan Challenge to Tallow Use

An article in The Telegraph revisits the issue of vegan complaints against the minuscule amounts of animal fats uses in the production of polymer banknotes. -Editor

Bank of England £5 banknote The Bank of England could face a legal challenge from vegans over its use of animal fats in banknotes, lawyers warned after a landmark ruling on Friday.

An employment judge found that holding a sincere belief in “ethical veganism” should be given the same legal protection under the Equality Act as that given to Christians, Jews and Muslims.

The legal team defending the vegan said after the hearing that animal rights activists could now even try to obtain a judicial review into whether the Bank of England's use of tallow in £5 and £10 notes constitutes indirect discrimination against their devout beliefs.

There was widespread condemnation from vegans two years ago after it emerged trace elements of animal fats were used in a polymer to coat new banknotes. The plastic is intended to prevent the counterfeit production of money, as well as make the notes smooth to the touch.

Although the tallow makes up less than one per cent of a banknote, members of numerous religious faiths were outraged that its use “discriminated” against their requirement to abstain from pork and beef products.

To read the complete article, see:
Vegans could legally fight 'unethical' banknotes following landmark ruling (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/03/vegans-could-legally-fight-unethical-banknotes-following-landmark/)

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NEW POLYMER NOTES CONTAIN ANIMAL FAT (https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v19n49a29.html)
MORE ON ANIMAL FAT IN THE POLYMER BANKNOTES (https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v19n50a34.html)
BLOG: VEGANS GO OVERBOARD WITH POLYMER NOTES (https://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n03a23.html)

Cash-Sniffer Catches Casablanca-Bound Couple

A cash-sniffing dog rooted out undeclared cash as a couple boarded a plane at Dulles airport recently. -Editor

Cato the cash-sniffing dog U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Dulles Airport have nabbed yet another traveler attempting to smuggle unreported currency out of the United States.

It is legal to carry large sums of currency into or out of the United States. However, federal law requires that travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or other monetary instruments to report it all to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the country.

In the latest seizure, a couple destined for Casablanca, Morocco on Dec. 28 acknowledged that they understood federal currency reporting requirements and reported verbally and in writing that they possessed $8,000. CBP currency detector dog Cato alerted to their carry-on baggage and officers discovered additional currency. In total, CBP officers discovered $19,651. Officers seized $19,000 and released $651 to the couple for humanitarian purposes and allowed them to continue their trip.

To read the complete article, see:
K9 Cato, CBP Officers Seize Unreported Currency at Dulles Airport (https://loudounnow.com/2020/01/03/k9-cato-cbp-officers-seize-unreported-currency-at-dulles-airport/)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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