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Is it the end of the five cent coin cluttering our wallets?

Brad Fitzgibbon with 5 cent pieces. Photo: Bev Lacey/The Chronicle
Brad Fitzgibbon with 5 cent pieces. Photo: Bev Lacey/The Chronicle Bev Lacey

FIVE facts you may not have known about the five cent piece

  • It was first introduced with decimal currency on 14 February 1966
  • The original reverse design of the echidna has not been changed since the introduction.
  • All of the first issue of five cent coins in 1966 were produced at the Royal Mint, London.
  • No five cent coins were produced in 1985 or 1986
  • The composition of the coin is 75% copper and 25% nickel

It may  be the end of the five cent piece after tonight's budget if the Turnbull government gets it's way.

It is a tough little nut, however, as two years ago, after it was reported our smallest coin actually costs six cents to make, it is still here.

Back in 2014 the head of the Commonwealth's Canberra coin factory told a Senate Estimates hearing that it was costing six cents per piece to produce a five cent coin.

And it is still here today.

SWEET BARGAIN: Valerie McWhirter from North Lismore News with lollies you can buy for five cents.
SWEET BARGAIN: Valerie McWhirter from North Lismore News with lollies you can buy for five cents. Cathy Adams

Last year we asked our readers what we could do with or buy with a five cent piece and we thought we would remind you of the answers.

North Lismore Newsagency is a gold mine for sweet tooths, stocking favourites like freckles, strawberries and cream, milk bottles, raspberries and chico babies.

YOUR THOUGHTS: Five good uses for five cents

  1. Lollies at some shops, among them Muzzas Milk Bar in Evans Head and the the Dunoon store - Alison Stegeman, Karen Johnson 
  2. It adds up and the tooth fairy sometimes gives lots of five cents ... 20 x five cents is a nice surprise when you lose your first tooth. Way more fun than a dollar coin - Erin Watts
  3. The best things ever to scratch a scratchie with! Seriously! - Mel Bower
  4. Lemons and limes at the Rosebank Rd fruit stall - Maureen Keane
  5. Yoghurt frogs, and carrot sticks at school canteen Michele Nichols Sulter 

Comments from The Northern Star's Facebook page

We're talking about the relevance of 5 cent coins in our office today. Do you think 5c coins are still relevant? Can you name something you can buy for 5c and where?

Posted by The Northern Star on Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dunoon General Store owner Kristen Bradford said customers could buy lollies including purple clouds, pigs ears and jaffas for five cents.

"Allens lollies did just have a price rise and they went up to three for 20 cents," she said.

The recent price rise for lollies means Goolmangar Store no longer sells anything for five cents.

The Channon General Store owner Kathy Bell said gummi bears, jelly beans and jaffas were four cents each.

Nothing can be purchased for five cents at Woolworths stores on the Northern Rivers.

At Coles supermarkets customers can only get individual produce items like a bean for five cents; no shelf items are priced at five cents.

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