Mint: Pennies not going to Canadian banks

Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:17 AM

OTTAWA, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The Royal Canadian Mint stopped circulating pennies to financial institutions Monday, a death knell for a coin in circulation since 1908.

No more 99-cent sales.

Payments will be in 5-cent increments, with charges ending in 3 or 4 rounded up to the nearest nickel and anything with a 1 or 2 at the end of the total rounded down, The (Montreal) Gazette reported. If the price ends in 6 or 7, it will be rounded down and if it ends with 8 or 9 it'll be raised.

At its plant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the mint said it was spending 1.6 cents on every penny it made because of rising costs of metal, labor and other expenses rose.

Removing pennies from circulation -- production ceased in May -- will save about $11 million a year, officials said. The press to remove pennies was announced in March as part of the government's budget.

The penny won't disappear overnight because the billions still in circulation will be legal tender "indefinitely," mint officials said.

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