August 1, 2014

Canadian Loonies and Toonies Losing Weight

loonies and tooniesNew loonies and toonies will be made of steel and a tad lighter in weight.

For all you coin collectors out there, you’d better start grabbing some old fashioned loonies and toonies because the Royal Canadian Mint has decided to change them. These Canadian coins received final cabinet approval late last month to no longer be made out of nickel and copper, but to sport brass-plated steel. They will be a bit lighter as well.

Alex Reeves from the Royal Canadian Mint said “”What that gives the tax payer, basically, is a savings…an annual savings of up to $15 million a year.” The price of nickel is currently four times higher than it was in 2000, so the cost of production has drastically increased. So, we can see why this change may be worth it for the regular tax payer, but for others the idea isn’t saving them any money.

Vending machines are currently set up to accept the old style of coins. When the new one comes out it will contain a magnetic signature on it, making it more difficult to counterfeit but these machines will not accept them. All of the current machines will need to be reprogrammed with some upgrades to make the machines work. The estimate of the cost to do this to all vending machines across Canada is $40 million, a big price to pay for loonies and toonies.

The loonie, or one dollar coin, was first introduced in 1987 and more than a billion of them have been produced. The toonie, or two dollar coin, faced the world in 1996 and over 700 billion of these have been produced.

At the current time, The Canada Gazette says it costs approximately 30 cents to make a coin. It has been rumoured that the cost for the new design of loonies and toonies will be between four and six cents.

So, this spring if your loonies and toonies feel a little lighter, don’t worry, it’s not a problem and it’s not counterfeit. However, if you are part of a business that counts your coins by weight, a problem might just be what it is.

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