Is it time to scrap the Penny?

Pennies have been around in Britain for over a thousand years, but is it now time for the penny to be dropped?

Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor,  thinks it is inevitable that Britain will follow countries such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia and scrap the penny.

As Governor of the Bank of Canada he oversaw the withdrawal of the 1p coin equivalent and claims the process was really successful among Canadians. 

Not only was the 1 cent coin unmissed by Canadians and reduced the cost of transactions for both businesses and the Government, a massive $11m was saved in the first year by discontinuing the production of the coins.

But are we ready to say farewell to the British Penny?

coppers-2

The Penny has been around for over 1,200 years.

The Penny was one of the earliest British coins, first minted in the 8th century AD.

The silver penny became universal throughout Britain in 959 and until the reign of Henry III in 1234 it was one of the only denominations minted.

The Penny even survived decimalisation in 1971 making it one of the only denominations that was kept during the changeover.

Although it’s fair to say that pennies are rarely used to buy anything, it’s thought that an estimated 11.2 billion pennies are currently in circulation. 

What about Ireland’s ‘Rounding’ Initiative?

In October 2015, Ireland lauched its ‘Rounding’ initiative. It aimed to reduce the use of 1 cent and 2 cent coins by rounding the total amount of any bill paid by cash on a voluntary basis up or down to the nearest 5 cent mark.

So far, 126 million coins have been taken out of circulation. So could Britain follow in the same footsteps as Ireland?

As with any coin, the loss of the penny would be a blow to coin collectors everywhere.  But we must remember that these changes are part of what makes coin collecting so interesting.  Designs change, new coins come into existence and some coins will inevitably disappear.

So should we get rid of the Penny? Let us know in our poll:

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14 Responses to Is it time to scrap the Penny?

  1. Neil Oliver says:

    I have new £5 note AA23 is it worth anything?

  2. Jenipher Perry says:

    Is an AK47 still worth money

  3. Janet says:

    I have a AA21144565 new five pounds is it worth anything

  4. Stacey says:

    I have a 1 pence – but it says new penny ..?:/

  5. michael burman says:

    no the penny should not be dropped but the 1p and 2p coins should be reduced in size like the 5p 10p and 50p were.

  6. Mark says:

    It`s most likely one where the copper coating was missed.I had one like that a while ago.Could see it was steel but no sign of any copper at all.Also noticed that it was thinner than the normal 2p.Unlikely to be a fake as who would be bothered to make a fake 2p these days? They are practically worthless.

  7. David Harries says:

    Yes the penny and two pence could go and the rounding system brought in. However, I would want to see the 5pence made larger. Perhaps to the size of the current two pence

  8. Denzil says:

    Besides the penny being part of our history, I seem not to pay for goods with it, but on almost all occasions when I’m given one in my change it goes straight into any available charity boxes. Would charity funding diminish? Possibly.

  9. Rachel says:

    How can we go seaside and enjoy the 2p machines with kids then. Kids should b allowed 2 grow up the way we did

  10. Chris says:

    You wrote near identical article about the 2 pence mot long ago.

  11. Chris says:

    You wrote near identical article about the 2 pence mot long ago

  12. Radu Cristian says:

    Hi,

    i know this one is not related to the subject but i found a 2 silver penny and i was wonder what will be the easiest way to see if its a mint error or a fake…. Like if there is a difference in weight or so… Looks the same just that is silver not copper..

    Thanks for your help guys!

    • Chris says:

      Most likely it’ll be just someone has done it plated silver or made it look silver as it’s becoming more common to see these now as fakes. You can send pictures and have a look. But for a definitive answer on your coin you will have to send it to the mint themselves who will confirm it’s real or fake.

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