Special Rolls of Final Canadian Pennies for Circulation

by Mike Unser on February 6, 2013 · 16 comments

In saying a final farewell to the Canadian penny, the Royal Canadian Mint set aside the last million pennies produced for circulation, placed them within special commemorative wrapped rolls and made them available to the public.

2012 Canadian Penny and Circulation Roll

RCM image of its 2012 Canadian Penny and Circulation Roll

Limited to 20,000 worldwide and one per household, collectors can buy a 50-coin roll of the last Canadian pennies for $9.95.

"With every new collector product, the Royal Canadian Mint turns to a new page in the never ending story of Canada and we are proud to have captured an unforgettable moment by commemorating the last distribution of Canada’s penny," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.

These special rolls are authenticated to be a part of the last million Canadian pennies distributed for circulation with a serialized holographic label.

2012 Special Wrap Roll of Canadian Pennies

2012 Special Wrap Roll of Canadian Pennies

Reverses of the penny feature G.E. Kruger-Gray’s iconic 1937 design that has appeared on every one-cent coin from 1937 to 2012, excluding 1967. That is, of course, the famous image of two five-lobed maple leaves that are attached by their stems to a small twig. Inscriptions include ‘2012’, ‘CANADA,’ ‘1 CENT’ and ‘KG’ for the designer.

2012 Canadian Penny

2012 Canadian Penny

Obverses feature Susan Blunt’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II with inscriptions of ‘QUEEN ELIZABETH II’ and ‘D·G·REGINA.’

The Mint’s product page for rolls of circulation quality Canadian pennies is located here.

Canadian pennies were officially retired Feb. 4, 2013 as the Royal Canadian Mint ended its distribution of them to financial institutions. The coin was eliminated from the Canada’s coinage system in the Economic Action Plan 2012 as a cost-saving measure meant to save taxpayers an estimated $11 million annually. In recent years, the cost to produce each penny climbed to 1.6 cents. With the penny phased out, the Royal Canadian Mint now reports that all of its coins for circulation cost less to produce than each of their face values.

The penny continues as a legal tender coin and may be used indefinitely with anyone choosing to accept them, but businesses are encouraged to begin rounding cash transactions to the nearest five cent increment.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

jim February 7, 2013 at 9:03 am

Still waiting for US Congress to wake up and stop the minting of money loser US penny. At least the USPS found the guts to use a trick to eliminate Saturday deliveries. Is that what’s necessary to make a change in Congress these days?

thePhelps February 7, 2013 at 9:50 am

@jim – Congress still has to approve the USPS change. If they do get rid of the penny – I think they should consider minting a new dollar about that size some day in the future. On the Canadian penny front you can order these from Gatewest.com is selling these at the same price as the mint, but the mint has a limit of 1 Gatewest has a limit of 5.

jim February 7, 2013 at 11:50 am

I know, I said it was a trick. At least the USPS did something, and everybody’s moving forward with that. Congress might very well be forced to change the language of the law whenever they get off their collective rears and pass it. The Mint is just sitting there, gutless.
Until the BEP stops making $1 bills the dollar coin will never be popular regardless of it’s size. But they’ll never make a coin of a different value the same size as the penny – too much confusion, especially for blind people.
Not interested in buying Canadian pennies, especially not at 20 times their value. Looked at Gatewest.com which is a web oriented tech site – no pennies for sale. Even if you’re talking about some other site, it’s interesting that somebody would have a higher limit than the Canadian mint.

Victor February 7, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I just went to the Canadian website. I was “willing” to fork over $9.95 for a roll of 50 copper plated zinc pennies, until, I discovered there was another almost $8.00 postage! Put a gun to my head and I will not pay $18.00 for 50 pennies. If they were 1909-S VDB, maybe I would! Maybe! 😉

thePhelps February 7, 2013 at 1:37 pm

@jim sorry it is Gatewestcoin.com

I think phasing the penny out would eventually entail it being removed from circulation. That is the plan I read for the Canadian penny. Once it is phased out and no longer circulating, it could be replaced by a similar sized coin and I vote it be a dollar. The size of the dollar coins has always been the issue, even changing them to gold coins didn’t help because they are still too bulky and too similar to a quarter in size. The SBA was much worse than the golden coins.

@Victor – yeah they are asking a lot for those pennies, but I looked over on eBay and also see them selling for $25 a roll plus shipping.

Victor February 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm

@thePhelps E-Bay is too high, also. I’m sure we will eliminate the penny, also. However, I do believe, it will still be included in annual mint sets and proof sets. The same as it was in 2009 as a bronze issue for collectors, only.

A February 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm

gatewestcoin.com is even worse than the mint. It’d be nice to have a roll but $14!!!!! dollars shipping for an order under $100, no thanks not participating in that scam. No way it should be more than about $10-11. I can send a pack big enough for and heavier than a roll of pennies to Italy for $17-$18. Not gonna pay 14 for Winnipeg to Toronto. hahahahaha

jim February 8, 2013 at 12:01 am

There are millions and millions of pennies out there in jars and boxes and bottles in people’s closets and shelves and wherever else they disappear to, and the mint keeps making more every year. It will be a very long time after they’re phased out before a coin of the same size will be issued again. Also there are millions of President and Native American $1 coins in storage that will be used before they think about changing the size of the $1 coin. Sorry, I’m not convinced that shrinking the $1 coin to penny size will happen in my life time if ever.

Jeff in TX. February 8, 2013 at 8:45 am

Well if the dollars value gets any smaller, a penny sized dollar coin is in order.

Jack February 8, 2013 at 5:10 pm


Jack February 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Can’t wait for NGC and/or PCGS to jump all over these rolls for special grading labeling.

jim February 9, 2013 at 7:23 am

Yeah, that special grading labeling makes the coin worth so much more.

Victor February 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I remarked on Facebook, on NGC’s 25th anniversary retro black holders, with, “Who cares.” They replied, “We do!” When all is said and done, when all labels cost the same, get whatever floats your boat. I started with the brown label, because there was no such thing as Early, First or Eagle or Star label. Now, every label under the sun is offered. Coin Vault now offers their, “exclusive label” for only $10.00 more. Wow, what a deal. Some sets, ATB Quarters, for instance, come in only one label, one price, two grades. It’s not the label, it’s the grade. Get the highest grade, you can afford. Label, Schnabel! 🙂

jim February 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Right on, Victor. Special labels only mean more money for the labeling companies because people have bought in to them as if they mean something. A 70 coin is a 70 coin is a 70 coin regardless of the color or sparkles or however else the grading companies try to make is seem special.

Brian Young February 11, 2013 at 11:25 pm

I would like to see the post office make the cost of 1st class mail an even 50 cents per envelope & postcards 35 cents. Doing away with the 1 cent coin in the USA would be a great idea. I also will not miss Saturday mail. They should also make the 5 cent coin out of a cheaper metal while people adjust to the loss of the 1 cent coin then eventually do away with the nickel, too. I noticed in the Bahamas they have a really small 1 cent coin, smaller than our dime. Interesting.

jim February 12, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Buy Forever Stamps at 46 cents and lock that price in for as long as you have the stamps.

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