Are Canadian coins "legal tender" in your state?

Really? I’m surprised. When I was growing up, Canadian coins were apparently made of some metal with magnetic properties (iron, I’m assuming) and vending machines routinely jammed if you tried to use them (the machines had a magnet to catch “slugs” which were typically made of iron).

Either they’ve changed what the coins are made out of, or the machines no longer have those magnets in them…


We have no problem accepting Canadian coins where I am. Of course, I live in Toronto. :slight_smile:

[sub]And Gorsnak, what are you doing? Next thing you know, they’ll think that metric is some sort of evil one-world conspiracy instead of the Obvious And Sane Way To Measure Stuff!!


From Northern NY, yes, very legal tender. beegirl13, if you don’t mind me asking, where are you?


Strictly speaking, Canadian coins are not legal tender anywhere in the US. Stores are not required to accept them (and probably should not), and banks will generally refuse them. Only US currency may be proferred for purchases within the US, and only the US government may mint legal tender coins.

Hence the quotes in the title. :wink:

Indeed. In fact, I should amend my post slightly. Businesses can accept any type of payment they wish; it need not be legal tender. If a store wants payment in pencil erasers, there’s no law preventing them from doing so. Nor must they accept legal tender, should they choose not to. The term “legal tender” merely assures a payee that the payment is backed by the US government.

A fine example of Gresham’s law in action.

New one on me. 'Splain, please?

Well, Q.E.D., I googled this. :smiley:

A fine example of Gaudere’s law in action. :smack:

I shan’t bother with the coding this go-round:’s_law.html


Got it, Joe K. Thanks.

No, they were quite different. The Canadian dollar then was well over 80-85 cents U.S.; today it’s around 74, and that’s on an upswing.

Growing up, I used to see Canadian coins quite a bit, but not so much any more.

When I was 13 I was in Hawaii and handed a guy in a store a handful of change and he holds up one penny (Canadian) and said, “Why did you give me this?”

I shrugged and handed him a U.S. one.

When I was in college, our dorm had a strict “no canadian money” policy when paying for anything at the front office.

Of course their coin changer would dispense them all the time and they refused to exchange them.


I guess so. I don’t really know about why the vending machines would accept them, unless it’s simply that no one put extra effort into making sure they wouldn’t.

It occurs to me that our vending machines don’t necessarily get Canadian coins when the change is filled. One of our company’s offices is in Ottowa, and so we have employees from here go there and vice versa. Any of these might be using Canadian coins (accidentally or on purpose) that simply end up in the vending machine - and then come back out.

Actually, you quite frequently find American coins up in Canada. At least in Toronto. Mostly pennies and quarters. Nobody ever bats an eyelid when you use American coins, giving or receiving.

Still taken by pretty much everybody here in Michigan, except loonies and toonies. At least in the L. peninsula, don’t know about the U.P. They may take the others as well.

However, I’ve noticed lately that there are less than there used to be. Still alot of pennies, but fewer nickels, dimes and quarters.

As several posters have mentioned, vending machines don’t take Canadian coins…but newspaper vending machines, which are mechanical not magentic, do. Much to the dismay of newspaper sales offices in border areas.

And, godzillatemple, Canadian coins are more “magnetic,” owing to the higher proportion of nickel in them.

Here in Minnesota, which shares a long border with Manitoba and Ontario, most folks will accept the odd one or two Canadian coins given back out as change.

But not loonies or twonies, at least not here in the Twin Cities where I live. That may be different the farther you travel north toward the border, though.

If I were receiving, say, about 85 cents in change, I wouldn’t accept three Canadian quarters back in the mix of change I received. That would raise eybrows. But the odd Canadian coin is O.K.

Incidentally, I don’t try to spend Canadian coins here in the States … I toss 'em in jar when I go home and then spend 'em the next time I visit Canada (I head up there every 1-2 years or so).