Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Found A Shiny New Penny

The big debate in coin circles these days seems to be: “Should we get rid of the penny?” It doesn’t have much to do except make life insignificantly difficult in retail.

“That’s $5.41.” Or, “Here’s your change, 51 cents.”

Given the value of the dollar, and the lack of value in the cent, we could round things off and never even notice it. Or just use the nickel as our basic coin of the realm. Nobody noticed when the half-cent stamp (with Ben Franklin on it) went the way of all things that go the way. I remember using them when I was a teen. Will anyone notice when the penny sort of isn’t around anymore?

Normally, what we find on the street are tired, used old coins. They’ve been around; they’ve seen things that most of use don’t see; they’ve been in registers, pockets, purses, the back of drawers and collection jars in diners.

To find a shiny new 2007 penny on the pavement – ah! That is a sight. A cheerful sight. Instead of finding the old, street-weary, dirty, down at the heels, worn penny, we have a sharp-edged, finely engraved and shiny brand-new coin.

It’s the hope of youth, watching the next generation starting out filled with excitement and promise. It’s sharp, clean and ready to be placed into nationwide circulation, helping the economy move along. In time, it will become tired and dirtied, wondering if it will be kept in circulation. But, for now, I have found a shiny new penny and it’s mine.


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