A 1925 vintage penny at Arcade Coins in Toronto February 2013.

Penny’s demise could mean big bucks for GTA coin collectors

Throughout the years many different things have been considered collectable, from marbles to sailboats; many of these objects have grown in value over time. Well, it’s time to go searching through your piggy banks and couches because, now that the Canadian penny is out of circulation, its value is at an all time high.

The Canadian penny has been official tender since 1858. Since then, It has gone through many different facelifts; different insignia have been on the face of the penny. In 1937, the mint released the Maple Leaf penny, as it’s commonly known, and it is the one most Canadians recognize.

Steven Genis, an Uxbridge resident, remembers how his large penny collection got started. It was an accident caused by his friend.

“I have a piggy bank and one day my friend knocked it over and I realized it was full of just pennies … Maybe I should cash them in for some money,” Genis said. “I wondered what types of pennies I had and if I could find really old [ones.] ”

But it was his grandmother who most influenced Genis’s collection.

“When my grandmother passed away, we found some shoe boxes in her closet, and she had some very old pennies from the 1930s and 40s and that kind of boosted my collection and I got most of my pennies from her,” Genis said.

Even though the penny is out of circulation, this isn’t really going to affect Genis.

“My collection is very amateurish. All I collect is pretty much the years. I don’t care about the mistakes in minting or anything like that. I have every penny going back to 1938, and one penny from 1928 and that’s pretty good because all the pennies I have are ones I find. I don’t go out to auctions or anything like that,” Genis said.

Michael Barber is president of Arcade Coin and Stamp Galleries, 10 King St. E., in Toronto. Barber says that the value of the Canadian penny to professional collectors will rise, now that it is out of circulation.

“As for collectors, there seems to be a huge amount of interest right now. Now that they eliminated them, everybody wants them, some of them are extremely valuable,” Barber said, during an interview at his coin store.

Michael Barber of Arcade Coins in downtown Toronto, February 2013.
Michael Barber of Arcade Coins in downtown Toronto, February 2013. (JOSHUA GENEREUX/TORONTO OBSERVER)

Barber also spoke about a 1858 penny that is extremely rare, and how he would be happy to accept any rare penny in exchange for cash.

“We are always interested in rare things, and if someone has a coin they think is rare, bring it in and we will take a look.” Barber said.

The penny has gone out of circulation, but it definitely has not stopped being a topic of discussion. Now that it is a thing of the past, collectors say its value will only go up from here.