As part of my kitchen spring cleaning/reorganizing project, I emptied out one shelf in the cupboard above the fridge of its juice jug (Canadian coins) and two coffee tins (US coins) filled with spare change. While at the bank yesterday afternoon, I asked if US and Canadian coins had to be separated, and I was told no. So last night and earlier today, I sorted, counted and rolled a lot of coins.
The whole process got me thinking about money. How it’s really weird that Canadian penny is being phased out – they’re still legal tender (stores and banks still have to accept them), but Canadian pennies are no longer being minted. When I first heard about it, I didn’t give it much thought. But after several hours of coin rolling, it hit me – we were losing the maple leaf (on the reverse side of the Canadian penny). Of course, it’s on our flag, but the thought of not seeing it on the penny makes me a little nostalgic.
It also occurred to me that while I’m familiar with the Canadian penny (maple leaf), nickel (beaver) and dime (Bluenose schooner), I didn’t really know what was on their American counterparts. Canadian coins are a little simpler in that regard because the obverse side, regardless of the denomination, is always the head of Elizabeth II (unless it is a commemorative coin). But US coins have different images on the obverse side of their penny, nickel and dime.
I remembered that the words “In God We Trust” appear on the American one cent coin along with Lincoln’s head. But I didn’t realize that the picture on the reverse side is of the Lincoln memorial. I was clueless that the head on the US nickel is that of Thomas Jefferson and his home, Monticello, is depicted on the reverse.
I had no idea that the US dime honored Franklin D. Roosevelt (obverse) with images on the reverse side of a torch, olive branch and oak branch to symbolize liberty, peace, and victory (during WWII). I didn’t bother rolling quarters because I need them for laundry but in case you really want to know, the Canadian quarter spots a caribou head while the American quarter displays the iconic eagle (the presidential coat of arms).
Drum roll please…on Monday morning I will be toting $91’s worth of Canadian coins to the bank.