The penny shortfall that had one grocery store advertising it would purchases pennies has ended.
It appears there was a great demand for pennies in the first part of 2004, said Monetary Authority Public Relations Executive Karen Edie. The demand depleted the penny supply in the Cayman Islands and an order was placed in September for more of the coins to be minted.
‘This order was received last week and is being distributed to the retail banks,’ she said.
Foster’s Food Fair was glad to hear the news.
‘When we realised that the banks could not supply us with pennies we knew we had to do something,’ said Assistant Store Manager Avril Bodden.
The store began advertising it would purchase pennies by placing signs at each checkout counter that read – ‘Attention customers: Foster’s is buying pennies.’
Mrs. Bodden said the programme was such a success that Foster’s has a surplus of pennies.
‘We now have hundreds of dollars in pennies. The public response was great,’ she said.
She said there was a funny story from the coin-purchasing programme.
‘Some of the coins were in bad shape. It was clear they had been through the hurricane. One lady told us that she had to wash her coins in Lime Away. Those pennies smelled so bad that we had to wash them again,’ Mrs. Bodden said.
Ms Edie said some of the Island’s coin may have rusted because they were metal based.
Cayman currency as it is recognized today was first circulated in 1972 and up until 1977 was minted by the British Royal Mint. Coins dated between 1977 and 1984 were minted by the Franklin Mint in the United States. Coins dated from 1986 have been minted at the British Royal Mint.
Every three years eight million pieces are minted and old pennies are shipped back to the United Kingdom for recycling.
Cayman coins arrive on island by ship, a process that usually takes six to eight weeks. This shipment took longer than expected because of the increase in shipping caused by Hurricane Ivan.