Ottawa — Canada hopes to have learned from the bad experience of the United States with its Susan B. Anthony $1 coin when it introduces a new $1 coin next January. As with the US, Canada expects by replacing $1 bank notes with $1 coins to save costs -- some $175 million over 20 years.
Paper currency wears out within a year and must be constantly replaced. Coins last 20 years.
But when the Susan B. Anthony coin was introduced in 1979, many Americans avoided it. They complained that it was too close in size to the 25-cent coin and similar in color.
Tons of Susan B. Anthonys now clutter the vaults of the US Treasury.
The new Canadian $1 coin is just a touch larger than the Canadian quarter. But it will be 11-sided and gold-colored, made of aureate bronze plated on pure nickel.
This should make it quite distinguishable from other Canadian coins.
Further, if Canadians find the $1 coin weighing down their pockets and purses, they have the option of using $2 bills. In the US, the next highest bank note to the $1 bill is the $5 note. The US $2 bill was discontinued several years ago.
Unless the Canadian government gets an ugly surprise, it expects to withdraw $1 bank notes from circulation completely within three years.
And the government will no longer consider $1 bank notes to be legal tender after four years.