The Exchange : Weekly Money Museum Item: The second-to-last Canadian penny

Weekly Money Museum Item: The second-to-last Canadian penny

Correction: The Canadian penny was first introduced in 1858. This blog has been updated to correct that fact. 


My name is Brandon Ortega; this is my first blog entry of what soon will become a regular weekly blog.  The subject of this blog will vary from week to week, but the emphasis will be on what are some of the most interesting artifacts, people, and coins that I see displayed in the Money Museum. My weekly entry will give a brief historical background of the item chosen for that week and I will further explain why I personally found the item interesting.  I hope you as the reader enjoy my weekly blog entry as I explore and learn more about everything the Money Museum has to offer.


While  walking around the museum I saw a lot of items that I thought would be interesting to write about, but there was one item in particular that grabbed my attention.  That item was the second-to-last Canadian penny. Due to the rising cost of copper, the cost of production for pennies raised. Hence, the penny lost its practical value, which led to the final Canadian Penny being produced on May 4, 2012. The loss of value in that coin is what fascinated me about this item, especially since the United States nickel and penny are in a similar situation. We soon will find out the fate of those two American coins (Click here for information on the US nickel and penny).


Last Canadian Penny



The Canadian penny had a rich history, which started when it was introduced in 1858. The entire design was created by famed Royal Canadian Mint engraver Leonard Charles Wyon. Because of time, only a small portion of the coins ordered in 1858 were actually struck that year, a majority of the initial order were struck in 1859. Initially, one-cent pieces were unpopular; to get them into circulation it was not rare to see them discounted up to 20 percent. Interestingly, in the final years the pennies were produced, they again were becoming quite unpopular. A 2007 survey found that only 37 percent of Canadians actually used pennies.


Over the years, the design and faces on the coin changed. Famous kings and queens have been pictured on the coin: Some of them include Queen Victoria, King George V, Queen Elizabeth II, and many others.  It is not uncommon to hear a variety of names for the coin including "penny," "cent," "cenne," "cenne noire," "sou," "sou noire."


The second-to-last Canadian penny was donated to the Money Museum by the Royal Canadian Mint. The coin on display was produced the same day as the final Canadian penny, May 4, 2012. I would encourage everyone to take a trip to the Money Museum and take a look at this historical coin.




Written by Brandon Ortega at 00:00



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