Mon | May 21, 2018

UPDATED: 1¢, 10¢ and 25¢ coins to go on Thursday

Published:Tuesday | February 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/ Gleaner Writer
On Thursday, one-cent, five-cent and 25-cent coins will no longer be used as legal monetary tender in Jamaica.

Thursday is the last day that one-cent, ten-cent and 25-cent coins can be used as legal monetary tender in Jamaica.

However, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) will continue to redeem them indefinitely, during its regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This change will only affect cash transactions, so all electronic business will continue as usual.

Since September last year, the BOJ has engaged in a major public-awareness campaign via electronic and print media to get consumers and business operators alike to understand how this will affect their dealings.

It has directed that business operators use a simple system of rounding up or rounding down when giving change, and by which consumers should also be guided when making payment.

Transactions ending in one to 49 cents should be rounded down to the nearest dollar. So an item costing, for example, anywhere from $40.01-$40.49 should be round down to $40. On the other hand, if the item(s) costs anywhere from 50-99 cents, it should be rounded up to the nearest dollar. Therefore, an item costing anywhere from $40.50-$40.99 should be rounded up to $41.

"At current prices, it now costs more to make these coins than they are worth, and so continuing them is no longer economically viable and the country will save money by discontinuing them," the central bank has advised.

It now costs J$1.73 to make a one cent coin, J$1.54 to make a 10-cent coin and almost two dollars - J$1.96 - to manufacture each 25-cent coin. By contrast, it costs less than $3 to make each $5 and $10 coin, and less than $10 to make the $20 coin.

And while the $1 coin is also no longer cost-effective to manufacture, at a cost of J$2.30 per coin, the BOJ says it has no intention to withdraw it from circulation at this time, based on its heavy usage. However, it is has begun a review of the design with a view to using less expensive material to make it.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com

NOTE: Headline and article updated to reflect the coins that can no longer be used as legal monetary tender in Jamaica come Thursday.