The amusing reason why the 5-cent piece could finally be leaving our wallets

The Royal Australian Mint has revealed that 5-cent coins cost more to produce than they’re worth. This amusing information has left

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Indeed in 1992, 1-cent and 2-cent coins were withdrawn from circulation because the cost of production also exceeded their value.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?


  1. Coral Abrim  

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the 5 cent coin going from silver to copper.

    • John Brants  

      The only decimal coin that had actual silver in it was the 1966 50 cent coin which had 80% silver.All “silver” decimal coins that circulate are cupro nickel.

  2. Paid cash at Myer Hobart last week and was due 5 cents change. The shop assistant asked if I wanted to give it to charity. No worries. She told me the store had raised $1400 for charity this month. I would have no problem if this happened all year but as I usually use plastic it would not affect me too much. Get rid of the coin. The Yanks keep their one cent coin due to political interference.

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  4. JAY  

    Keep the cent coin Only another way to up prices Rounding off to nearest 10c

  5. Joan Marshall  

    It is about time we got rid of the 5 cent piece in our money it is annoying. Does anyone remember the time of the one cent piece that was annoying as well because it would accumulate in the purse and was worth practically nothing.

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