My Two Cents.

There were a bunch of pennies on the sidewalk. Why someone left them there is beyond me, and I could have just left them, but instead I picked them all up. Hey, if you see a penny and pick it up all the day you’ll have good luck, right? And even though the day was mostly over and I was headed home I figured maybe it’s a twenty-four hour good luck and maybe it’s cumulative so picking up all those pennies I’d get nine or twelve days of good luck. I couldn’t use the pennies to pay my bus fare, unlike that time several years ago when I poured exact change–all in pennies–into a bus fare collector, but still pennies add up. That’s at least one reason I think the US Treasury keeps producing pennies, unlike our neighbor to the north Canada that abandoned the penny a few years ago. And that’s one of the few things Canada has done that bugs me a little. When I was a kid I was bitten by the numismatic bug, although the doctor gave me a shot and I got better. It was finding Canadian pennies in change that got me interested in coin collecting; it made me feel in touch with the rest of the world. Years later I’d get a job in a mailroom and the foreign stamps that came in turned me into a bit of a Johnny-come-philately, but that’s another story.

Coins even helped teach me some history, like when I first found a 1967 Canadian penny which, unlike the regular maple leaf penny, has a  dove. So it doesn’t bother me that my collection of Canadian pennies, large as it is, is still barely worth a loonie–even less than that, now that the pennies are no longer legal tender. It’s a shame the 2017 Canadian coins, which celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, won’t include a penny.

Still I wish Canada good luck on the sesquicentennial. Hey, here’s a penny.

 

12 Comments

  1. Gilly Maddison

    Oh no! My very favourite Canadians of all time (yes even beating Gordon Lightfoot) and the video says ‘Not Available’. I’m think it’s because I am in the UK. So,your pennies didn’t give me much luck. 🤣

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      In lieu of the video here’s a story of the origin of Bob and Doug MacKenzie: the producers of SCTV were offered money by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation if they would include “three minutes of Canadian material in every episode”. The producers asked themselves, “What would ‘Canadian material be?” and came up with a couple of guys in toques talking about beer and the weather.
      I don’t know if it’s true but it’s a funny story.

      Reply
  2. mydangblog

    I miss our pennies too! Collector sets won’t be the same without it. Although you CAN get a toonie with a glow in the dark middle!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s also a shame that everything in Canada now costs a minimum of a nickel. Not that you can buy much for a penny these days, but, hey, in Casablanca when Ingrid Berman offered Bogart a franc for his thoughts he said, “In America they’re only a penny. I guess that’s all they’re worth.”
      The glow-in-the-dark toonie is pretty darned cool, though, and is even better than the Canadian quarter with the red poppy, which was the first colored coin to ever be used as legal tender. The Canadian poppy coin also caused some kerfuffle at the Pentagon.

      Reply
  3. Arionis

    Being married to a Canadian I probably have some of those pennies in my spare change bin. You’re welcome to them. I know I have some Canadian quarters. You can have a few of those too if you like but the loonies and toonies are all mine. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I appreciate the offer but your Canadian pennies and even quarters may be duplicates of ones I already have. My Canadian penny collection spans from the 1800’s almost to the year they stopped minting ’em, although with a few gaps. And don’t get me started on the super cool 1967 Canadian coins. It took me ten years to find the 50 cent one.

      Reply
  4. Red

    Here in China, the smallest coin value is 10 “cents”. But the value of 1 yuan is about 15 American cents.

    The coin is called a mao. Which could be in reference to the former leader, or mean “cat”.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s interesting, and I think I have some of those coins although they’re hard to identify because I don’t read Chinese. I also have some bills with the picture of that former leader even though you know what they say: if you go carrying money with pictures of Chairman Mao you’re not gonna make it with anyone anyhow.

      Reply
  5. Ann Koplow

    A penny for your thoughts, Chris, is not fair payment.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      As a numismatist I’ve always been partial to the English farthing. Its value may be small–three farthings make a penny–but it’s an attractive coin, a reminder that small things can still have great value.

      Reply
  6. Allison Everett

    Johnny-come-philately for the win. I love foreign currency. The advent of the Euro suuuuuuuuucked.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yes! The advent of the Euro did have two advantages: it’s fun collecting the final year of the old coins, and each country does have its own distinct design for the Euro, but I still miss the old traditional coins.

      Reply

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