Will the 5c coin be withdrawn from circulation?

May 17, 2011

The answer is not right now but the idea never fails to provide a good story on a slow news day. Adelaide's Advertiser today announces on page 3 "Is it the end of 5c coins?" With inflation creeping up, the value of Australia's 5c coin just isn't as good as it used to be with the Advertiser citing examples that 5c can't even buy you 50ml of milk or half a slice of bread any more. Australia withdrew 1c and 2c coins in 1990 and New Zealand overhauled it's coinage and removed the 5c piece in 2005, so surely it's on the cards for Australia to do so....one day. The problem consumers would face then is their acceptance of a sort of rounding system that would end up costing us more and with higher costs from petrol to your power bill how will you cope? It costs the Royal Australian Mint 2.5c in metal composition value to produce each 5c coin. Add the cost of purchasing a coin blank and minting the coin design brings this cost to an estimated 3.6c per coin, hardly allowing for much margin of profit for the government.

The Sydney Morning Herald suggested almost 2 years ago that we were in for a major overhaul of our currency with a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in production. Obviously this didn't come to fruition. With all the Royal discussions in the media lately amidst William and Kate's Wedding who knows when the Queen passes away peacefully and a change of monarch ocurred. Would we then see the 5c disappear as we embrace a new King on the obverse of Australia's coins? The Royal Australian Mint CEO Mr Ross MacDiarmid confirms that there are "no current plans to change Australia's circulating currency mix".

*Addition 18/5/2011: The Royal Australian Mint must have been fielding many questions in the latest media frenzy and released this on their noticeboard soon after this article was written.

Posted by harrisk at May 17, 2011 10:43 AM
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