World Coins

France may drop 1-, 2-cent coins from circulation

France should eliminate the 1- and 2-cent coins, according to a recent report from a government-sponsored think tank.

Coin images courtesy of the European Central Bank.

France may be saying “au revoir” to its two smallest denomination coins. A government think tank, the Comité d’Action Publique 2022, has suggested that the parting would be one of many steps on the way to making the economy “zero-cash.”

According to a translation of the report, the committee proposes that France “gradually move toward a society without cash like Sweden. We could start in the short term by putting an end to the circulation of one and two cent coins.”

If the suggestions were adopted by authorities, France would join Belgium, Finland, Ireland, and the Netherlands in discontinuing use of the smallest coins and rounding to the nearest increment of five cents.

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Rounding would be implemented only in cash transactions; digital or electronic payments would be completed at the actual price. 

The 1-cent euro coin is made from copper-plated steel, measures 16.25 millimeters in diameter and weighs 2.3 grams.

The 2-cent euro coin, also made from copper-plated steel, measures 18.75 millimeters in diameter and weighs 3.06 grams. 

The 1- and 2-cent coins remain legal tender throughout the eurozone, but are not being struck for circulation anymore in the aforementioned countries. 

The coins are also reportedly costing more to produce than their face value, one reason cited by the countries choosing to ditch them. 

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