Kari's Corner February 4, 2013

The End of the Penny

It is time. The penny is on its deathbed. While the Royal Canadian Mint stopped making pennies last year the process of rounding up those copper beauties will begin now to melt them down. The Mint estimates six billion pennies will be recovered even though 35 billion pennies have been produced since 1908.

The penny costs more to produce than it is actually worth which is why they are not being made anymore.

Will the recovery of pennies have a huge impact on our economy? Probably not. Will the death of the penny negatively impact many Canadian charities? Sadly, yes. One of those is the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind. They use life-sized coin collectors shaped like golden retrievers and Labradors to collect coins and a large portion of the $300,000 they collected last year was pennies. Hopefully they will see more nickles after the pennies are all used up. They are appealing to people to donate their pennies but so are Free the Children and other charities. Free the Children believes that 2500 pennies is enough to give someone in a developing country drinking water for life.

The Regina Humane Society is hoping that people will just want to offload their pennies in their change boxes around liquor and convenience stores. Habitat for Humanity in Regina is also holding a penny funeral in the hopes to raise $100,000 in pennies by May. They are having a penny drive and the money will go towards building a house for a Regina family who couldn’t otherwise afford to buy one. Imagine, living in the first house built by pennies! As a Saskatoon real estate agent who is also selling in Regina I would love the chance to market that house down the road! Unforgettable for certain.

Is it worth holding onto any of those pennies as a ‘collectable’? Not likely if it is a 2007 penny of which a billion others were minted in that same year. If you happen to have a rare 1936 “dot cent” then yes, but there hasn’t been a sighting of one of these elusive money makers in years. The last one was auctioned off for $402,500 US in New York in 2010.

Many retailers are looking forward to the change and some have already embraced it by including the tax in their prices such as a coffee shop in Regina. Naked Bean, a coffee shop in Regina, didn’t even have any prices that weren’t rounded numbers and also included the tax to make it that much easier as they knew the penny was going out when the opened. It will cost some businesses extra money and extra work to phase them out as they will have to update their payment systems to round prices, some as much as $100,000.

Good thing we don’t have to deal with too many pennies when it comes to real estate in Saskatoon! If you are considering putting your house for sale in Saskatoon or area contact me. If you are thinking of spending all those hard earned pennies and buying a house for sale in Saskatoon I would be glad to help you make that dream come true.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent