Commemorative Coins – Enough Already!

canadian commemorative quarterSomeone should start a campaign to put an end to commemorative coins from the Royal Canadian Mint, especially those useless quarters that most of us don’t notice until we try to use them in a payphone and the damn things don’t work. One look at the latest quarter they’ve put out and I know that thing will never work in a payphone or a vending machine.

We’ve got stamps for commemorating things — and there is no chance of a commemorative stamp not working. Why not just stick with stamps, or at least cut back on releasing so many useless coins? There seem to be a handful of new commemorative coins coming out every month, but does anyone who isn’t a coin collector even pay attention them? Do Canadian tax dollars pay for the production of all these commemorative coins? And if so, why? Do we really need so many commemorative coins? Is the Royal Canadian Mint just another make-work project? What’s wrong with the traditional quarter? If it’s not broke, why fix it? I’d be happy to see most of these commemorative coins disappear.

I say this after trying to call a cab from a downtown payphone last night and going through 5 quarters in my pocket before I found one the payphone would accept.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at

One Reply to “Commemorative Coins – Enough Already!”

  1. the reason those quarters do not work is that in 2001, to save money, the mint moved to a different metal for minting quarters. Instead of using nickel, they moved to a nickel plated steel, which is a different weight. Most vending machines, payphones, etc. recognize coins by weight.
    so that is why new quarters tend not to work for anything. It is difficult to set the machines to read 2 different weights for the same coin. so until all machines are set to the new weight you will have difficulty. I know this because I am both a numismatist and a small business owner who ran vending machines when they switched metals.

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