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
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
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.