The Royal Australian Mint has revealed that 5-cent coins cost more to produce than they’re worth. This amusing information has left many Aussies wondering whether our humble 5-cent piece will go the way of pounds, shillings and pence.
The head of Canberra’s mint, Mr Ross MacDiarmid, has said “it costs approximately 7 cents to produce the 5-cent coin”. This is despite the fluctuating costs of copper and nickel.
With over 58 million 5-cent pieces being made by the Royal Australian Mint last year, this hardly seems like a worthwhile national investment.
Addressing senate hearings last year, Mr MacDiarmid also added that it costs Australia $110 million to replace lost coins each year.
“Mostly coins we provide are against coins that disappear down the back of chairs, down the back of car seats, into rubbish dumps and, in some cases, taken overseas”, he said.
These laughable figures have got some Australians wondering whether the 5-cent piece is still a relevant currency, and whether it could be phased out like other denominations.
One Facebook user wrote, “we will be living in a cashless society before this decade ends”. Whilst another person added, 5-cent coins will “go the way of the 1 and 2-cent pieces”.
Indeed in 1992, 1-cent and 2-cent coins were withdrawn from circulation because the cost of production also exceeded their value.
Prior to that, the ‘pounds, shillings and pence’ system reigned supreme before being phased out in 1966. You can reminisce about those much-loved pennies with this article here.
Do you think it’s time the 5-cent piece gets phased out? Do you prefer Australia’s previous currencies?