The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) has collected just over half a million dollars through its penny redemption exercise, which started about nine months ago.
The one-cent coin was decommissioned on December 31, however residents had until June 30 to redeem the value of the penny by weight.
“The 118-day redemption exercise was facilitated by Central Bank representatives at various locations in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Exuma, Eleuthera, Long Island, Abaco and Andros. Other family island redemptions were
facilitated through arrangements with island administrator offices. During the exercise, 8,440 persons redeemed approximately 55.74 million pennies valued at $557,400,” the CBOB noted in a release.
“The Central Bank acknowledges that a sizeable amount of the coins that were not redeemed by the public are unlikely to be in anyone’s possession inside The Bahamas. Over the last half century, more than 700 million one-cent coins were issued to the public. Although some are still held by locals, others have been either lost or permanently taken out of the country by travelers, whether intentional or not. The bank will share more analysis on these particulars in due course.”
When the Central Bank announced the demonetization of the penny last year, it anticipated that at least 215 million coins out in circulation would be redeemed.
CBOB made the decision to ax the penny after studying the cost of producing the coin versus its actual value. The bank found that it cost $443,000 to distribute the one cent coin and that it could save $7 million over ten years through its elimination.
The last time pennies were manufactured was in 2015.
The first penny was minted in 1966, when the Bahamian dollar officially replaced the British Pound Sterling.