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270 million copper coins ordered by Central Bank

COPPERS will be around with us for sometime yet - as the Central Bank has placed an order for over 270 million one-cent and two-cent coin blanks.

Earlier this week, the Central Bank appealed to the public not to hoard the millions of coppers in circulation.

Almost three times more one- and two-cent coins are minted in Ireland than the EU average - not because they are sought after, but because we leave them lying unspent down the back of sofas and in jars.

Ireland has issued almost 2.5 billion one-cent and two-cent coins since the euro came into being in 2003 and now the Central Bank has placed a tender for 270 million coin blanks.

In the tender, the Central Bank is seeking 170 million one-cent coin blanks and 100 million two-cent coin blanks, with the first batch of 15.6 million one-cent blanks due in April of next year.

A spokesman for the Central Bank said: "The Central Bank periodically tenders for raw materials for the production of coin. On December 10, we tendered for one-cent and two-cent coin blanks, based on current forecasted requirements up to early 2017."

A one-cent coin costs 1.7 cent to produce, while a two-cent coin costs almost exactly two cent.

The issuing of the tender follows a town experiment by the National Payments Plan of the merit of dropping one- and two-cent coins. The experiment in Wexford received approval from retailers and consumers for the dropping of coppers and rounding-up of prices.