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?
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: