“The Canadian government has begun to phase out the penny, saying it’s too expensive to produce the coin.
Besides its “excessive” production value, Canada has long cited the significant handling costs for the nation’s retailers and environmental considerations that lessen the penny’s worth. The country, which distributed its last pennies on Monday, estimates the move will save taxpayers about $11 million a year.
Cash transactions in Canada will now be rounded to the nearest 5-cent mark. The penny’s retirement will have no effect on payments made by checks or credit cards.
The cost of the metal that goes into a penny has surged in recent years, making the coin’s production more expensive than its face value.
In the U.S., it now cost 2.41 cents to make every penny, which is made mostly of zinc. The penny has cost more than its face value since 2006.