Ditch the Nickel

  • June 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm


Honestly, is there anything more useless than the  five-cent piece.?

You can forget all about thirty pieces of silver. If I had the need to entice someone to dog on a messiah, I could do a few thousand. I really don’t know how many I could offer. I have not dared to count the buggers.

There is the jar on my fridge; one of those really big jars that I think was once home to a bulk ration of something. That is overflowing. Then there is the deep compartment in my car where I stash parking change.

Breasts on a bull, that is for sure. The parking meters don’t take the dastardly denomination.  So, the compartment is as close to overflowing as the above-mentioned jar. So, I am reduced to tops of benches, little piles on the dresser, and a small fortune down the back of the couch.

Then there is the washing machine. If I had a dollar for every one I have found there I would have about $163.55. But that is a wild guess. It could be more.

Now I don’t go out hunting the things. I don’t go around with a metal detector. They just come to me – from all those something and ninety-five cents items that one comes across in the course of a day.

And that is just me. On a national scale, it’s a serious problem.

It’s estimated that those little shiny bits of copper and nickel are worth $186 million. That is a heck of a lot of cash that sits mostly outside the economy.

To reveal how much of a weighty issue this is, let us consider some basic math.

There are about 9,300,000 five-cent coins. They each weigh 2.83 grams. That’s about 26 ton. That’s an Orca whale and we all know how big they are.

It’s a lot of unnecessary weight to carry around.

So, I implore the government to free us from this madness and withdraw them from circulation.

We know how to do it. We did it in 1992 when we ditched the one and two cent siblings. The world did not collapse despite the predictions of a resulting kick to inflation. It just made everyone feel lighter.

We even came up with a clever use for them. We made the bronze medals for the Sydney Olympics. We could do something similar with the five cent coins. Don’t ask me what. Run a competition or something to get ideas. Perhaps some famous artist could do a statue of an echidna.

I also request that the government consider using the echidna in some other way, perhaps on a commemorative ten-dollar coin. That would be a fitting tribute to what is actually a very fine example of coin art.

Perhaps charities could be awarded the right to do five cent collections. That could be sponsored by the banks. Perhaps call it “Bring Out Your Dead Day”.