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NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-06, 01:51 PM
Since this thread on the Canadian penny (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/130084-Canada-bye-bye-penny) went horribly off course with minutia of the US and it's dollar I figured it's best to start a new thread. In addition I want to start off fresh with stating my view up front, and hopefully clear, of my opinion of the subject. I am surprised there's been no infraction given* or complaints by Banquo for a thread hijack.
*(thank you because I think I was a willfull participant)

The short statement:
Considering the US government keeps messing up the conversion by "hoping" a dollar coin catches on, I think the situation would change if they had the discipline to use the same methods that the Canadians used in their conversion.

First, some facts and data that play into the discussion (from wiki and usmint.gov and moneyfactory.gov)
The Sacagawea dollar: 8.1g, 26.5mm x 2mm
The US quarter: 5.67g, 24.26mm x 1.75
The Canadian Dollar (loonie): 7g, 26.5mm x 1.95mm (eleven sided)
The US Dollar Bill Average lifetime is 42 months and makes up 42% of US currency produced
233 US dollar bills stacks 1 inch high. Or a standard 100 stack is 156x66.3x11 mm and is 100g
Average US coin lifetime is 25 years.

Why I support it?

Opinion: I usually spend small amounts in bill and coin, and large amounts in bills. With inflation over my lifetime, what used to be coin only purchases are now bill/coin purchases.
Also, I run into enough situations at a vending machine where I can't get those lousy warn out crumpled or torn and taped dollar bills into the machine.
I also like the design of the Canadian dollar better than the US dollar coin because of it's 11 sides, but I am comfortable with the Sacagawea dollar because it seems like a large improvement over the SBA dollar which was too quarter-like.
The color change helps, and the edging does feel quite different to me.
The change worked for the Canadians and I see no major reason that it couldn't work here.

Fact: it's cheaper for the government
The basic difference in printing costs is:
Bill: $0.1, coin: $0.21.
So; while the coin is more than twice as expensive, it is cheaper over the lifetime.
0.21x42/0.1x300... about a 60% savings.

Now, to reopen the discussion...

Solfe
2012-Apr-06, 02:02 PM
I like the dollar coin, but I feel it needs to be much bigger than a quarter. I use them all of the time, but always end up having to point out they are dollars. If they could upscale them by 20%, that would be perfect in my mind.

The dollar bill should be printed in small qualities like the $2.00 bill. It is iconic, why not preserve it? Maybe something that you can only obtain by special request at certain times of the year would keep everyone happy.

Buttercup
2012-Apr-06, 02:16 PM
They need to make a coin dollar look -- especially at quick glance -- VERY DIFFERENT from a quarter. Because it's easy to confuse the two in a coin purse, unless you pause and look closely. Yeah I know the edges are different (ribbed versus smooth) and the coin dollar's color is a soft goldish-bronze; but it's still too similar to a quarter.

I still want paper money, period.

Solfe
2012-Apr-06, 02:51 PM
They need to make a coin dollar look -- especially at quick glance -- VERY DIFFERENT from a quarter. Because it's easy to confuse the two in a coin purse, unless you pause and look closely. Yeah I know the edges are different (ribbed versus smooth) and the coin dollar's color is a soft goldish-bronze; but it's still too similar to a quarter.

I still want paper money, period.

I wonder if the quarters are the problem. There are more than 50 different styles in circulation; could it be "no one know what a quarter looks like, how can we pick out a dollar?"

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-06, 05:20 PM
The dollar bill should be printed in small qualities like the $2.00 bill. It is iconic, why not preserve it? Maybe something that you can only obtain by special request at certain times of the year would keep everyone happy.
Kind of like commemoritive or proof coin sets are now. Not a bad idea.


I wonder if the quarters are the problem. There are more than 50 different styles in circulation; could it be "no one know what a quarter looks like, how can we pick out a dollar?"
I had that beef when they came out. It was obvious they were quarters, but it was not obvious "whose" quarter it was. (even though we don't directly boarder Canada, we still get lots of theirs).
I got used to it. I don't know why though.

JustAFriend
2012-Apr-06, 06:44 PM
As I remember back when the $1 coin came out, blind people had a hard time distinguishing it from quarters.

And vending machines had trouble with them, too.

If you're going to do a thing, do it right....

Van Rijn
2012-Apr-06, 07:55 PM
The change worked for the Canadians and I see no major reason that it couldn't work here.


Well, except that most people don't like them.

They've been trying to get people interested in these things for decades, and they are still very unpopular.

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-06, 08:11 PM
Well, except that most people don't like them.
They've been trying to get people interested in these things for decades, and they are still very unpopular.
I know that people are vocal about not wanting them, but there are two things that I wonder might not make it that bad:
1: Are we hearing from the squeaky wheels?
2: Are they going to grumble at first and eventually get used to them?
I'm not sure either of those can be answered. At least not #2.

Hey; any Canadians out there... What was the grumbling like before they made thier switch and the decision was made (or being made)?

KaiYeves
2012-Apr-06, 08:53 PM
I think it's a very good idea. When the Sacajawea coins were first introduced, my mom got me a roll of them from the bank and I was excited and thought they were really cool-looking. Even as an 8-year-old I really hoped they'd catch on, and I'm sad they didn't.

Taeolas
2012-Apr-06, 10:58 PM
I was a bit too young to remember clearly when the Loonie came out, but I think there was some grumbling about it at the time, but because we were forced into it, we got used to it quickly and now I don't think anyone would want to go back to bills.

In general, people are resistant to change (as in going from one type of thing to another type of thing; not coins), so unless they are forced into it, they won't make the transition willingly. But at the same time, as most countries that have transitioned a bill to a coin have seen, people will accept it if they need to, and eventually won't have an issue with it.

Personally, I think it would be EASIER to transition from a bill to a coin now than it was back when the Loonie and Toonie came out, simply because the economy has become so computerized. As people use debit and credit (ugh) cards more and more for purchases, there are fewer cash transactions; and the ones there are would probably be with automated systems that would work better with coins than bills. For example, in Canada, we have very few machines that take bills because most of our small automated purchases are under 5$, so a coin handler that works up to 2$ coins works fine for those, and those are generally easier to use/maintain than bill readers.

And from experience, it's a LOT easier to do laundry at hte laundromat with a mix of loonies and quarters, than to deal with pure quarters. :P

Torsten
2012-Apr-07, 12:40 AM
I was an adult when the loonie was introduced and the $1 dollar bill was phased out. I didn't care about the change one way or another. I don't recall any difficulties in the transition period. When the toonie was introduced I thought, "What? Do we need that?" But it too was a painless change over.

I don't use cash often (< $1000/year spent in cash - just about everything else goes on a card). I developed the habit of giving the exact amount to cover a transaction if I have the coins in my wallet, and if I don't, then I still put change on the counter so that the number of coins I receive back is minimized. Complaints about coins piling up just irritate me. It's easy to unload your coins this way and it helps the cashier. I like the coins for their usefulness in vending machines. I refill a 20 l water bottle at a vending machine for $3. It takes just two coins to do that. My pickup gets pretty muddy from the roads I travel, and though I resent the time spent washing it, I need to remove the mud that collects in the wheels because it throws them terribly out of balance. So, one loonie or a toonie at the car wash takes care of that. The two coins are easy to distinguish. You can't confuse the loonie with a quarter, and the toonie with its bi-metallic coin-in-a-coin design is very different from the others.

The grumbling will end shortly after the $1 dollar bills disappear from circulation.

Van Rijn
2012-Apr-07, 01:56 AM
I know that people are vocal about not wanting them, but there are two things that I wonder might not make it that bad:
1: Are we hearing from the squeaky wheels?


No, small dollar coins have been in circulation for decades, and they obviously haven't been very popular. If people preferred them, we would be using them instead of dollar bills.


2: Are they going to grumble at first and eventually get used to them?
I'm not sure either of those can be answered. At least not #2.


See answer to question #1. I'm used to them. I don't want them.

Torsten
2012-Apr-07, 02:19 AM
I forgot to mention that at the time the loonie was introduced, $2 bills were common (except, IIRC, in Alberta for no good reason). So if you used a $5 bill to buy a 75 cent item, you weren't going to get 4 loonies in change.

Krel
2012-Apr-07, 03:30 AM
The dollar coin is doomed for a few reasons.

Despite every rejection by the American public, the Treasury department stubbornly keeps making them the size of a quarter, without creating a difference that is notable by sight and feel in a rush. Remember the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over-and-over, and expecting a different result.

People have stated that they don't like the space that the coins take up, or want their pockets and purses weighed down by dollar coins. Try walking around with twenty-five dollars in dollar coins in your pocket and see how you like it. Heck, try it with ten.

Merchants don't like them for the same reason they didn't like, and rejected the two dollar bill during it's last big push, there is no space in the cash register drawer for them. This is a bigger factor then you might realize. Consider how many merchants would have to buy new cash drawers, with most having more than one cash drawer. These things aren't cheap. Think the merchants are going to eat that cost? Try telling the giant retailers that they will have to buy thousands, tens of thousands of new cash drawers, then bet on which home state Representative is going to be the first one on the floor denouncing this financial hardship on the nations retailers.

Vending and change machines can not tell the difference between a quarter and a dollar coin. They keep trying to make one, and the machines keep failing the test. Although I have no doubt that someone will do it one day, right now it is like fusion power. Any day now.

David.

SeanF
2012-Apr-07, 03:54 AM
...the Treasury department stubbornly keeps making them the size of a quarter, without creating a difference that is notable by sight and feel in a rush.
...
Vending and change machines can not tell the difference between a quarter and a dollar coin. They keep trying to make one, and the machines keep failing the test.
Um, no. The dollar coins (both the Susan B. and the Sacajawea) are larger than a quarter. Not a whole lot, but they are both bigger and heavier. Vending and change machines have no problem differentiating between a dollar and a quarter.

In fact, the very reason the Sacajawea dollar is the same size as the Susan B. is specifically so that vending machines which handled the Susan B. would recognize the Sacajawea as the same coin.

Trebuchet
2012-Apr-07, 02:20 PM
Um, no. The dollar coins (both the Susan B. and the Sacajawea) are larger than a quarter. Not a whole lot, but they are both bigger and heavier. Vending and change machines have no problem differentiating between a dollar and a quarter.

In fact, the very reason the Sacajawea dollar is the same size as the Susan B. is specifically so that vending machines which handled the Susan B. would recognize the Sacajawea as the same coin.

The loonie is the same size as the US dollar coins, and they seem to be getting by. I agree that the change is never going to happen on its own, it has to be forced by withdrawl of the dollar bill. People will grumble and get used to it, just as they did in Canada. The dollar bill is a waste of tax money.

profloater
2012-Apr-07, 03:17 PM
Do like the pound and go straight for the two dollar coin, then one coin buys a coffee,, maybe.

Trebuchet
2012-Apr-07, 03:54 PM
Not at Starbucks!

grapes
2012-Apr-07, 05:25 PM
Do like the pound and go straight for the two dollar coin, then one coin buys a coffee,, maybe.And make them the same size as a nickel. :)

johansen
2012-Apr-07, 06:56 PM
Anyone remember the Eisenhower dollars? They were huge.

Krel
2012-Apr-07, 11:45 PM
Um, no. The dollar coins (both the Susan B. and the Sacajawea) are larger than a quarter. Not a whole lot, but they are both bigger and heavier. Vending and change machines have no problem differentiating between a dollar and a quarter.

In fact, the very reason the Sacajawea dollar is the same size as the Susan B. is specifically so that vending machines which handled the Susan B. would recognize the Sacajawea as the same coin.

They are slightly larger than the quarter, and people do have trouble telling the difference in a hurry. When the Susan B came out I had a blind relative that owned a small snack stand in a building. He could tell the difference between a quarter and Susan B, but only if he could take his time. If there was a rush, then he couldn't tell the difference.

I can tell you for a fact that vending machines could not tell the difference between a quarter and the Susan B. When the Susan B came out, I serviced the vending machines where I worked, and those machines could not tell the difference. It was good for me, as I made .75 cents on the dollar, but I was amazed how many people never realized that they used a dollar coin for a quarter.

None of the vending machines where I work will accept a dollar coin. The only vending machines I have seen that will accept a dollar coin were the U.S. Postal stamp vending machines, and those were removed a couple of years ago.

I'm not even against the dollar coins, I just think that they have to make them different than a quarter, that's all.

David.

SkepticJ
2012-Apr-07, 11:48 PM
Why do the coins have to weigh as much as they do? Can't they make them from something else, something stronger, and make them thinner and lighter? Stamp 'em out of Stellite and they'll have far longer average lifetimes than 25 years.

Why stay wed to metal? Maybe Gorilla Glass currency could work.

Why can't they be the size of dimes, or the old Spanish peseta? We're not talking about gold bars--size doesn't equal value.

Give them a scalloped edge so blind people can tell what they are.

Gillianren
2012-Apr-08, 11:12 PM
The USPS vending machines could tell the difference between a quarter and a dollar coin, when they still took cash.

Van Rijn
2012-Apr-09, 07:55 AM
I could see where a machine not designed for it might not differentiate between a quarter and a modern U.S. dollar coin. Until that came along, there probably wasn't much reason not to have a bit of extra room in the coin slot and transport hardware. Later designs would be another matter.

novaderrik
2012-Apr-09, 10:02 AM
Um, no. The dollar coins (both the Susan B. and the Sacajawea) are larger than a quarter. Not a whole lot, but they are both bigger and heavier. Vending and change machines have no problem differentiating between a dollar and a quarter.

In fact, the very reason the Sacajawea dollar is the same size as the Susan B. is specifically so that vending machines which handled the Susan B. would recognize the Sacajawea as the same coin.

i used to love the dollar coins when i worked at a place that had a change machine that dispensed them if you put a 1,5, or 10 dollar bill into it.. the vending machines also took them- they never got randomly rejected like paper dollars, and you didn't have to hold up everyone waiting in line as you plugged in quarter after quarter when you were buying a $2 sandwich or salad.. but i haven't worked there since the beginning of January of '07, and haven't really used the dollar coins since.

SeanF
2012-Apr-09, 10:43 AM
I could see where a machine not designed for it might not differentiate between a quarter and a modern U.S. dollar coin. Until that came along, there probably wasn't much reason not to have a bit of extra room in the coin slot and transport hardware.
Oh, on the contrary. Vending machines aren't merely designed to distinguish coins from other coins. They are designed to distinguish coins from non-coin metal discs. If the machine would simply accept anything that happened to be made of metal and about the same size of a quarter, the machine's owner would be getting ripped off day and night by people putting slugs in it. And if it was designed correctly, identifying the quarter not only by diameter but also by magnetic signature, then there's no way it should've been confused by the Susan B. dollar.

I am absolutely astonished to find that there were actually such vending machines in use. Although I suppose it's possible that the machines' design allowed them to accurately reject anything that was actually worth less than a quarter, and that's all the owners were concerned about... :)

Jim
2012-Apr-09, 12:30 PM
They are slightly larger than the quarter, and people do have trouble telling the difference in a hurry. When the Susan B came out I had a blind relative that owned a small snack stand in a building. He could tell the difference between a quarter and Susan B, but only if he could take his time. If there was a rush, then he couldn't tell the difference.

???

The dollar coin is made purposely with smooth edges to distinguish it quickly by touch and specifically for the blind / vision impaired.

novaderrik
2012-Apr-09, 01:09 PM
???

The dollar coin is made purposely with smooth edges to distinguish it quickly by touch and specifically for the blind / vision impaired.

i never had a problem picking out the dollar coins from the quarters in my pocket- they feel totally different.. smoother, bigger, thicker, heavier.

SeanF
2012-Apr-09, 01:51 PM
They are slightly larger than the quarter, and people do have trouble telling the difference in a hurry. When the Susan B came out I had a blind relative that owned a small snack stand in a building. He could tell the difference between a quarter and Susan B, but only if he could take his time. If there was a rush, then he couldn't tell the difference.
???

The dollar coin is made purposely with smooth edges to distinguish it quickly by touch and specifically for the blind / vision impaired.
The Sacajawea dollars are smooth-edged, but the Susan B's have reeded edges like a quarter.

Trebuchet
2012-Apr-09, 02:31 PM
The Sacajawea dollars are smooth-edged, but the Susan B's have reeded edges like a quarter.
And the new presidential ones have "In God We Trust" and "E Pluribus Unum" stamped into the edge.

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-09, 03:09 PM
I know that people are vocal about not wanting them, but there are two things that I wonder might not make it that bad:
1: Are we hearing from the squeaky wheels?No, small dollar coins have been in circulation for decades, and they obviously haven't been very popular. If people preferred them, we would be using them instead of dollar bills.
I can understand them not being popular, and people not using them. The part I'm questioning are the people who are actually opposed to them instead of just not wanting them but will adopt them if it were made so.
As far as the argument of not being used because people don't prefer them, I can only go by my own experience. I prefer them but don't get them, so I can't use them and end up with dollar bills anyway.


See answer to question #1. I'm used to them. I don't want them.
You don't want them, but would it be an issue for you if we went that way? Do you think you wouldn't get used to them?


When the Susan B came out I had a blind relative that owned a small snack stand in a building. He could tell the difference between a quarter and Susan B, but only if he could take his time.
Yes; the SBA was a horrible design. But; what about the newer designs? Is it still hard for him to tell?


And the new presidential ones have "In God We Trust" and "E Pluribus Unum" stamped into the edge.
Yes; I wasn't happy with that design decision because it defeats the smooth edge advantage. But; I can see that being worn down quite quickly.

Jim
2012-Apr-09, 05:05 PM
The Sacajawea dollars are smooth-edged, but the Susan B's have reeded edges like a quarter.

Ah, must read more carefully.

The SBAs have a raised polygon (hendecagon) on their faces along the edge.

mike alexander
2012-Apr-09, 06:31 PM
We could use the Platonic solids:

tetrahedron=penny
cube=nickel
octahedron=dime
dodecahedron=quarter dollar
icosahedron=half dollar

and

sphere=dollar

Trebuchet
2012-Apr-09, 11:19 PM
Hmm, there's a Sci-Fi/Fantasy story lurking there. Which has probably already been written.

Krel
2012-Apr-10, 02:31 AM
Yes; the SBA was a horrible design. But; what about the newer designs? Is it still hard for him to tell?


Unfortunately he died in the late 80s, but I think that he could have, it was amazing what he could tell just by touch. As Jim pointed out the SBAs have a raised polygon on the inside edge, which he could feel, but it was difficult in a rush.

I can't remember the last time I was given a dollar coin, I don't reject them. I haven't even seen any of the President dollar coins in well over a year.

They could try forcing them on the the U.S. public, but it is not likely. Politicians like their jobs, and want to keep them. For some reason Americans will go ape over inconveniences. The government has been trying to force that foreign system of measurement on the American public for decades, but it is like hitting a brick wall with a pillow, no sale. :lol:

David.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Apr-10, 02:07 PM
For some reason Americans will go ape over inconveniences. The government has been trying to force that foreign system of measurement on the American public for decades, but it is like hitting a brick wall with a pillow, no sale. :lol:

David.
I get the impression it's not really inconveniences per se, but rather inconveniences that require people to learn something new or change their habits of though which really trigger the stubbornness in the people..

Perikles
2012-Apr-10, 02:32 PM
I get the impression it's not really inconveniences per se, but rather inconveniences that require people to learn something new or change their habits of though which really trigger the stubbornness in the people..A good example of this was the change in currency in the UK around 1970 (?) when a massively inconvenient system was replaced by a much easier one. The reaction against the change was amazing, even though it just involved changing shillings and pence to 100 new pence, and keeping the pound. You might think it would be just the elderly who would object, but I remember my brother, young and with a science degree, actually throwing the new coins around the room in rage at the temporary inconvenience.

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-10, 05:42 PM
I get the impression it's not really inconveniences per se, but rather inconveniences that require people to learn something new or change their habits of though which really trigger the stubbornness in the people..
Yep; habits included if you think of "learning new habits". And, yes.. I'm actually more interested in adopting that strange newfangled measuring system than in modifying coinage and has been a disappointment for most of my life.

Although; I think with the coin issue it's more a perception of "I don't like it" based on each individual's weighting of what the differences are.


A good example of this was the change in currency in the UK around 1970 (?) when a massively inconvenient system was replaced by a much easier one. The reaction against the change was amazing, even though it just involved changing shillings and pence to 100 new pence, and keeping the pound. You might think it would be just the elderly who would object, but I remember my brother, young and with a science degree, actually throwing the new coins around the room in rage at the temporary inconvenience.
I wonder if some of that is due to the thinking that there some sort of hidden loss in converting thier currency.

I know it's been mentioned before about "what if I don't convert my dollar bill in time?". It is an issue if it's not handled correctly. I can see people worrying about getting "stuck" with an old currency before a deadline.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2012-Apr-10, 06:16 PM
Since this thread on the Canadian penny (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/130084-Canada-bye-bye-penny) went horribly off course with minutia of the US and it's dollar I figured it's best to start a new thread. In addition I want to start off fresh with stating my view up front, and hopefully clear, of my opinion of the subject. I am surprised there's been no infraction given* or complaints by Banquo for a thread hijack.
*(thank you because I think I was a willfull participant)

The short statement:
Considering the US government keeps messing up the conversion by "hoping" a dollar coin catches on, I think the situation would change if they had the discipline to use the same methods that the Canadians used in their conversion.

First, some facts and data that play into the discussion (from wiki and usmint.gov and moneyfactory.gov)
The Sacagawea dollar: 8.1g, 26.5mm x 2mm
The US quarter: 5.67g, 24.26mm x 1.75
The Canadian Dollar (loonie): 7g, 26.5mm x 1.95mm (eleven sided)
The US Dollar Bill Average lifetime is 42 months and makes up 42% of US currency produced
233 US dollar bills stacks 1 inch high. Or a standard 100 stack is 156x66.3x11 mm and is 100g
Average US coin lifetime is 25 years.

Why I support it?

Opinion: I usually spend small amounts in bill and coin, and large amounts in bills. With inflation over my lifetime, what used to be coin only purchases are now bill/coin purchases.
Also, I run into enough situations at a vending machine where I can't get those lousy warn out crumpled or torn and taped dollar bills into the machine.
I also like the design of the Canadian dollar better than the US dollar coin because of it's 11 sides, but I am comfortable with the Sacagawea dollar because it seems like a large improvement over the SBA dollar which was too quarter-like.
The color change helps, and the edging does feel quite different to me.
The change worked for the Canadians and I see no major reason that it couldn't work here.

Fact: it's cheaper for the government
The basic difference in printing costs is:
Bill: $0.1, coin: $0.21.
So; while the coin is more than twice as expensive, it is cheaper over the lifetime.
0.21x42/0.1x300... about a 60% savings.

Now, to reopen the discussion...

I had no idea that my thread was hi-jacked.

Jim
2012-Apr-10, 06:43 PM
We didn't want to upset you.

SeanF
2012-Apr-10, 07:56 PM
Huh, I though I had a typed up another response here, but it's not here.


Although; I think with the coin issue it's more a perception of "I don't like it" based on each individual's weighting of what the differences are.
No, that couldn't be. I have it on good authority that people who (think they) prefer a dollar bill over a coin are either stupid or just pig-headed. It's apparently not possible for someone who's even remotely intelligent to actually like dollar bills better than coins, and consider them worth the extra cost.

Van Rijn
2012-Apr-11, 09:11 AM
See answer to question #1. I'm used to them. I don't want them.You don't want them, but would it be an issue for you if we went that way? Do you think you wouldn't get used to them?


Already answered, but I've put the relevant text in bold this time.

Van Rijn
2012-Apr-11, 09:14 AM
Huh, I though I had a typed up another response here, but it's not here.


No, that couldn't be. I have it on good authority that people who (think they) prefer a dollar bill over a coin are either stupid or just pig-headed. It's apparently not possible for someone who's even remotely intelligent to actually like dollar bills better than coins, and consider them worth the extra cost.

Heh. Of course, absolutely not possible. :whistle:

SkepticJ
2012-Apr-11, 08:03 PM
No, that couldn't be. I have it on good authority that people who (think they) prefer a dollar bill over a coin are either stupid or just pig-headed. It's apparently not possible for someone who's even remotely intelligent to actually like dollar bills better than coins, and consider them worth the extra cost.

What do you value in the paper currency?

Van Rijn
2012-Apr-12, 12:24 AM
What do you value in the paper currency?

I can't speak for Sean, but I value it because paper money is lighter, less bulky, and easier to distinguish than the dollar coins. As it is I have too much coinage to carry around. I don't want more.

Gillianren
2012-Apr-12, 01:02 AM
But the only way you know what bill is which is to look at it; why are coins so different in that regard?

Trebuchet
2012-Apr-12, 01:05 AM
But the only way you know what bill is which is to look at it; why are coins so different in that regard?

My thought as well. Coins are at least somewhat distinguishable without vision by size and weight, bills in the US are all exactly the same size.

By the way, Gillian, can you guess the last place I got dollar coins in my change?

Van Rijn
2012-Apr-12, 01:38 AM
But the only way you know what bill is which is to look at it; why are coins so different in that regard?

I just pulled out some bills, and it is trivially easy to distinguish them. I can't say the same for the dollar coins. In any event, as I already noted, that isn't my only issue with the coins.

swampyankee
2012-Apr-12, 01:49 AM
Oddly, I've never had trouble telling pennies (pedantically, they're one cent pieces; pennies are British), nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollar coins apart, usually with much less effort than paper currency.

SeanF
2012-Apr-12, 02:47 AM
What do you value in the paper currency?
Van Rijn gave a good answer to this question. The fact of the matter is, though, that I have never said whether I prefer dollar bills to dollar coins, nor whether I would object to, applaud, or merely tolerate the elimination of dollar bills. My opinion is one of many, and - taken by itself - meaningless. If there were a vote on the issue, I would cast my vote alongside everyone else.

But even if I do think the coin is better than the bill, I would not feel that my opinion on the matter supersedes anybody else's. And that's all it is - opinion. It's a case of personal preference, and is entirely subjective. What I do not find acceptable is the calling of people who don't share one's subjective preferences "stupid," regardless of my own preference in that particular regard.

As long as a significant percentage of the population wants to keep dollar bills, we should keep them.

SeanF
2012-Apr-12, 02:52 AM
...pedantically, they're one cent pieces; pennies are British...
When the thread about Canada eliminating the penny was first posted, I made a bet with myself on how long it would take for this to come up (again), but I didn't put odds on it first coming up in a spin-off thread that ostensibly isn't even about the penny! :)

For what I believe is at least the fourth time on this board, the US one-cent piece is called a "penny," just as the five-cent piece is called a "nickel," the ten-cent piece a "dime," and the 25-cent piece a "quarter."

Go read the US Mint's webpage, and some of their press releases - even they use the word.

swampyankee
2012-Apr-12, 03:33 AM
When the thread about Canada eliminating the penny was first posted, I made a bet with myself on how long it would take for this to come up (again), but I didn't put odds on it first coming up in a spin-off thread that ostensibly isn't even about the penny! :)

For what I believe is at least the fourth time on this board, the US one-cent piece is called a "penny," just as the five-cent piece is called a "nickel," the ten-cent piece a "dime," and the 25-cent piece a "quarter."

Go read the US Mint's webpage, and some of their press releases - even they use the word.

Well, pedantic and wrong. Perfect combination.

Gillianren
2012-Apr-12, 04:31 AM
My thought as well. Coins are at least somewhat distinguishable without vision by size and weight, bills in the US are all exactly the same size.

It's true, of course, that the print on a bill is much bigger than that on a coin. But surely it's a bigger problem for the blind that bills are all the same size and shape than that coins aren't different enough.


By the way, Gillian, can you guess the last place I got dollar coins in my change?

I could take a stab in the dark, certainly!

Perikles
2012-Apr-12, 08:13 AM
But surely it's a bigger problem for the blind that bills are all the same size and shape than that coins aren't different enough.I had the impression that the blind can be incredibly sensitive to different coin sizes and weights, so I'm surprised that might be a problem. Having said that, I've never seen any USA currency. By the way - I can't offhand think of another country which has the same size banknotes for different denominations, and I find it rather unusual.

novaderrik
2012-Apr-12, 10:32 AM
Unfortunately he died in the late 80s, but I think that he could have, it was amazing what he could tell just by touch. As Jim pointed out the SBAs have a raised polygon on the inside edge, which he could feel, but it was difficult in a rush.

I can't remember the last time I was given a dollar coin, I don't reject them. I haven't even seen any of the President dollar coins in well over a year.

They could try forcing them on the the U.S. public, but it is not likely. Politicians like their jobs, and want to keep them. For some reason Americans will go ape over inconveniences. The government has been trying to force that foreign system of measurement on the American public for decades, but it is like hitting a brick wall with a pillow, no sale. :lol:

David.

i've known quite a few people that were quite fluent in the metric system of weights and measures, specifically grams, kilograms, and cubic centimeters... and they were mostly high school dropouts..

SeanF
2012-Apr-12, 11:03 AM
If the US is going to take a page out of Canada's book, maybe we should do something like this (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/alberta-rolls-special-glow-dark-dinosaur-coin-153848336.html):


The new 25-cent piece, set to roll out of the Royal Canadian Mint on April 16, features the Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai, a giant herbivore whose partial remains were discovered in Grand Prairie by science teacher Al Lakusta in 1974. The dinosaur carries his name.

The application of photo-luminescent technology on the dinosaur's embossed surface means the moment it gets dark, the dino starts to glow.

:D

Taeolas
2012-Apr-12, 11:52 AM
I can't speak for Sean, but I value it because paper money is lighter, less bulky, and easier to distinguish than the dollar coins. As it is I have too much coinage to carry around. I don't want more.

Can't really argue against the weight or bulk factor, but identification factor does confuse me. All of the US bills I find I need to take them out and LOOK at them to tell which one is which and sort appropriately. All my trips to the States, I end up with a pile of bills and I can't easily tell if I have 10 1$'s or 9 1$'s and a 20$ or some other combination. While Canadian bills are all the same size (something we could improve on granted), they are distinctly coloured which makes them even easier to tell apart at a glance. If I see purple, I know I have a 10; green is 20, blue is a 5, red I'm shocked to find out I've got a 50$ and brown I wonder how I got a 100$.

On the other hand, I can reach into my pocket and just by feel, I can easily pull out any of the coins, just by size and texture (Toonies are easy to tell due to the bi-metal coins, not to mention their size, and the loonie's 11 sides helps as well). That does depend on the appropriate agencies making the basic coin design unique enough to identify like that, both by size and texture. By making the current US Dollar coins completely rounded, they IMO missed the boat there a little.

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-12, 12:24 PM
Can't really argue against the weight or bulk factor...
To me, it's not an issue but to comment on the rest of your post.
I can understand the difference in color helps a lot. But, somehow our familiarity to the currency has made identifying our bills not a problem.
Perhaps it's the way different people carry them. Using a wallet, I am in the habit of just thumbing through the corners, and it's fairly easy.
I can identify by feel (at least most of the time) the coins.
But; I wonder if one of the issues with people not wanting more coins is that the way they tend to use them.
I can understand that if you are used to looking at your currency to pull something out that coins would be a little more difficult because they are never in a neat pile to thumb through.


If the US is going to take a page out of Canada's book, maybe we should do something like this:
That would be cool for normal distribution if the coating was durable and the luminescence were not fleeting (like needing to hold it under a bright light so you can watch it glow for about 10 seconds)

There's a few statements in there that make me laugh:

the first Canadian coin you can find at the bottom of your purse without a flashlight.
That statement doesn't work with...

means the moment it gets dark, the dino starts to glow.
It's been in the dark already.
And...

They will retail for $29.95 at most Canada Post outlets.
At that price, I doubt they will be at the bottom of anyone's purse.

Taeolas
2012-Apr-12, 12:52 PM
To me, it's not an issue but to comment on the rest of your post.
I can understand the difference in color helps a lot. But, somehow our familiarity to the currency has made identifying our bills not a problem.
Perhaps it's the way different people carry them. Using a wallet, I am in the habit of just thumbing through the corners, and it's fairly easy.
I can identify by feel (at least most of the time) the coins.
But; I wonder if one of the issues with people not wanting more coins is that the way they tend to use them.
I can understand that if you are used to looking at your currency to pull something out that coins would be a little more difficult because they are never in a neat pile to thumb through.


Well, I find in general coins are easy enough to 'pile' up, at least a small handful of coins like you would find in your pocket. Once it is piled up, you can then easily get the biggest denomination coin by gripping the edge of the pile and letting the smaller coins fall out. At least that's what I usually do for quarters. Loonies and Toonies are big enough that I can tell them by feel right away, and I don't usually have a large large number of them in my pocket, like you tend to build up with pennies, nickles and dimes. (and even quarters). Pennies and Dimes annoyingly are the hardest to tell apart using that pile method since dimes are smaller than Pennies. At least for Canucks that won't be as much of a concern in a few more years now. :) Though the nickles are still bigger than dimes. *sigh*

In general though, remember that you are using around 4x fewer coins for a purchase with dollar coins than you would without dollar coins too, since a dollar coin 'replaces' 4 quarters. 2$ coins make it even easier. With the coins so easy to identify by touch, I find I can easily pluck out a toonie to pay for some snacks, or a loonie for the parking meter much easier than fumbling for a bill from a pile of bills, and identifying the right bill, or a 'closest' reasonable bill and getting more bills back. (Spoken from experience, having shopped in both Canada and the States); or spending more time trying to find enough quarters and smaller change to pay for a 1.25$ meter that doesn't take bills.

Having grown up with bills with different dominant colours, I probably don't have the habits that USians have; but the fact that you need to 'thumb through the corners' to tell the difference between bills seems to be a failing in the currency design. With the Canadian bills, you don't have to store/sort them in a particular way; just slightly fan the bills that may be turned any which way, and you can tell at a glance (or at least a glance and a count), how many of each bill you have. Or thumb through the bills, which can be any which way, in your wallet and get a similar count. Granted, people who use the bills daily get used to them, and can probably tell by wear and by the patterns what bill is which, even if they can only see a bit of the bill; but it feels to me like a lot more work than just seeing "Red == 50$, Blue == 5$, Purple == 10$, etc...". And the fact we don't have 1's and 2's now does mean we have fewer bills in those piles too.

Of course, that all said, for me personally, I barely use cash at all nowadays. I've had a few pay periods ( 2 week periods ) where I've nearly gone the entire 2 weeks without touching a coin or a bill of any sort, and up here that does seem to be the route the Mint wants to head in too. Pure anonymous digital currency that is. (http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1159513--royal-canadian-mint-to-create-digital-currency) (And I do think someone linked that previously on one of these threads)

SeanF
2012-Apr-12, 01:24 PM
In general though, remember that you are using around 4x fewer coins for a purchase with dollar coins than you would without dollar coins too, since a dollar coin 'replaces' 4 quarters.
No. Each dollar coin replaces a single dollar bill. Any quarters you had or used with the bills, you'd still have or use with the dollar coins.


Of course, that all said, for me personally, I barely use cash at all nowadays. I've had a few pay periods ( 2 week periods ) where I've nearly gone the entire 2 weeks without touching a coin or a bill of any sort, and up here that does seem to be the route the Mint wants to head in too. Pure anonymous digital currency that is. (http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1159513--royal-canadian-mint-to-create-digital-currency) (And I do think someone linked that previously on one of these threads)
Now, that's interesting. Anonymous digital currency I could get behind, as long as I was convinced it was truly as anonymous as cash.

Taeolas
2012-Apr-12, 02:01 PM
No. Each dollar coin replaces a single dollar bill. Any quarters you had or used with the bills, you'd still have or use with the dollar coins.

In theory that's the case. In practice, in my experience (and my gut feel which may be wrong), it doesn't seem to be the case. I'm not sure I can explain this right, or even if I'm right at all; I could just be strange. :P But to me, having 1$ and 2$ coins, pushes the 'pay by coin' vs 'pay by bills' level higher. When I only have quarters and lower for coin, then I won't even look at my coin pile for purchases over 1-2$ or so, which means I'm not doing as much to shrink my coin pile in my day to day use.

On the other hand, when I have 1$ and 2$ coins, my coin-purchase level rises to 5$ and even 10$ depending on how much change I know I've built up; I'm more likely to reach for my coin purse/coin pocket to pay for those purchases than I would otherwise.

At the same time, I generally try to use up the biggest currency I have available, that is appropriate, depending on how I'm paying by cash. So while I wouldn't use a 100$ to pay for a 5$ purchase normally, I might break a 10 or 20 for the same purchase, which leads to more change; with 1$ bills it means more bills for a bigger bill pile; with 1$ coins it leads to more coins. But when I have $1 coins available, I'm more likely to use coins for the smaller purchases, leading to less change overall.

Plus, if I do have a pile of bills, I find I'm more likely to grab the first bills that 'fit' the purchase, instead of trying for more exact change. For example, a 6$ purchase, I'd grab the 10$ I spot while rifling through the pile of 1$'s instead of realizing I have 6 1$s in that pile. With coins, I'll toss down the loonie and toonie I may have, and see if I have a five, instead of breaking a 10; or using that loonie and toonie to get the 5$ back for the 10.

I'm probably making no sense at all trying to describe this; and it may just be my own personal buying habits. Other people's mileage may vary of course, and others have different habits entirely.


Now, that's interesting. Anonymous digital currency I could get behind, as long as I was convinced it was truly as anonymous as cash.

It certainly has potential, but there's still a lot of work to go before it's ready. I think BitCoin was a decent first stab at digicurrency, and highlighted some of the strengths and weaknesses it has. While Canada doesn't quite have the infrastructure in place for it yet (we're close), banks and businesses have recently started encouraging purchasing using your cellphone, and the digicurrency that the Mint is trying to work out seems like it could follow from that. (Get the DigiChips in as part of the Next Gen Cellphones and you don't have as much to worry about losing, other than the people who lose their phones all the time too. )

HenrikOlsen
2012-Apr-12, 02:14 PM
But pay-by-phone is about as far from anonymous as you can get.

Trebuchet
2012-Apr-12, 02:23 PM
I could take a stab in the dark, certainly!

I figured you could!

SeanF
2012-Apr-12, 02:49 PM
In theory that's the case. In practice, in my experience (and my gut feel which may be wrong), it doesn't seem to be the case. I'm not sure I can explain this right, or even if I'm right at all; I could just be strange. :P But to me, having 1$ and 2$ coins, pushes the 'pay by coin' vs 'pay by bills' level higher. When I only have quarters and lower for coin, then I won't even look at my coin pile for purchases over 1-2$ or so, which means I'm not doing as much to shrink my coin pile in my day to day use.

On the other hand, when I have 1$ and 2$ coins, my coin-purchase level rises to 5$ and even 10$ depending on how much change I know I've built up; I'm more likely to reach for my coin purse/coin pocket to pay for those purchases than I would otherwise.
I see. So let's take a hypothetical where the purchase price is $4.27. With bills, you would most likely just pull a $5 bill out of your wallet and pay with that, adding the 73 in change to whatever coins you already had. But with the dollar coins, you're likely to pull the change out of your pocket to see if you've got $1 or $2 coins to use, and then you'll look for a quarter and a couple of pennies, too. Makes sense.

I don't think I'd take it as an argument in favor of eliminating the dollar coin in the face of public opposition, though. :)

SeanF
2012-Apr-12, 02:51 PM
But pay-by-phone is about as far from anonymous as you can get.
Yes, I agree. I'd accept pay-by-phone as an alternative to pay-by-credit-card, but not to pay-by-cash.

But if whatever digital currency they come up with offers pay-by-phone as an option alongside something more anonymous, that wouldn't bother me any.

Taeolas
2012-Apr-12, 02:54 PM
But pay-by-phone is about as far from anonymous as you can get.

Not if they have this chip system that they're trying to develop.

The idea is you would have some token that has a microchip that can do encoded transmissions that basically say "Add $X.YZ to my local total" and "Remove $T.UV from my local total". You could load that token with money from somewhere (like an ATM) and spend using the token, and have the same anonymity as you would with cash. If such a system can take off, phone makers could put the circuitry in new phones, so instead of the current pay by phone models, you would use your phone to load your digiwallet token, and use the phone's token to do your spending anonymously. Theoretically, if it works, you could total up your purchases, log in using your phone, load up its wallet, and pay anonymously with the wallet, and your bank statement would just see you transferred $M out of your account, but not who you transferred it to.

Of course with this system, they have to make sure that secure upgrading can be done relatively easily, so that when (NOT If) the encoding on DigiWallet 2.0 is cracked, merchants and people can quickly and securely upgrade their readers to use DigiWallet 3.0.

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-12, 05:13 PM
Well, I find in general coins are easy enough to 'pile' up, at least a small handful of coins like you would find in your pocket. Once it is piled up, you can then easily get the biggest denomination coin by gripping the edge of the pile and letting the smaller coins fall out.
Ha. I do that all the time. Maybe that little habit sways us to coins.


No. Each dollar coin replaces a single dollar bill. Any quarters you had or used with the bills, you'd still have or use with the dollar coins.
You are right, but I think the point was that it's that way when deciding to pay by coin.


I see. So let's take a hypothetical where the purchase price is $4.27.

The decision is a bit more complicated than that (and maybe that's why some people resist). Taelas described his thoughts which are similar to mine but let me describe my coin vs bill decision based on today's U.S. currency.

It sounds complicated, but for me, it just seems to be habit....

A lot of times, my decision is based solely on the penny value. I try to get rid of pennies whenever possible, so the first thing I do is pull out my change to see if I can match the number of pennies. (for instance x.x2, I see if I have the two pennies to avoid getting 3 more.)

Since I've got my change out, I see if I have the whole sub-dollar amount. If not, then I leave it at that and dig out the bills.

Now; with a dollar coin, my process would be the same, but my chances of ending at the coinage stage goes up for small purchase.

It seems like things that are under a buck are getting rarer and rarer while those single purchase items tend to go for around "couple of" bucks.

With larger purchases it doesn't really make a difference. In the case of 4.27, it's close enough to a 5 that I would just see if I have the 2 pennies to get rid of. Even larger purchases I really don't bother.
Using 5.27 would be optimal for me, and using 5.02 would be a bonus just to see how the bewildered the clerk gets. ;)

Of course, that all falls apart by mood and percieved time constraints.

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-12, 05:22 PM
Not if they have this chip system that they're trying to develop.
...
That's not bad for anonymity, but I can see some drawbacks.
- I can see getting into the situation of "but I know I loaded 1.37 on that thing".
- I can also see merchants dropping currency as change completely. Why pay for a clerk to count out change (or spend time loading those automatic change machines) when we can just have a single stack of loadable change.
The next thing I know, I'd have a pocket full of change whose value i don't know.

I guess I'm old fashioned, but I tend to think of how much money I have in the bank differently than how much spending money I have.
The cash withdrawl is where that line is crossed where I think of both. Physically seeing spending money is very easy for me.

Taeolas
2012-Apr-12, 05:53 PM
That's not bad for anonymity, but I can see some drawbacks.
- I can see getting into the situation of "but I know I loaded 1.37 on that thing".
- I can also see merchants dropping currency as change completely. Why pay for a clerk to count out change (or spend time loading those automatic change machines) when we can just have a single stack of loadable change.
The next thing I know, I'd have a pocket full of change whose value i don't know.

I guess I'm old fashioned, but I tend to think of how much money I have in the bank differently than how much spending money I have.
The cash withdrawl is where that line is crossed where I think of both. Physically seeing spending money is very easy for me.

The Devil is in the details, and with a theoretical system like was linked, there are a lot of details up in the air. But the thing with this system like this, it would probably be more like. "Your total is 5.28$"; you press your DigiWallet (or DigiWallet Phone) to the reader, and your DigiWallet screen says "Store X wishes to withdraw 5.28$ from your wallet. Accept? Deny?" and you can pay that way. Or it may happen automatically if the reader range is close enough (of course if that's the case, digital pickpocketing becomes a bigger threat). You'd always have the digi-cash token on you, unless you give it to someone else, at which point that person has all of the money you have in that digiWallet. (Just like with cash now).

The feel I have is that the eventual goal is a system that works just like cash, but without cash. Meaning you can spend with it quickly, get 'cash' back quickly, hand it around anonymously, but you'd never have to worry about Paper or Metal. But you would still have to worry about other people taking it (like you would with Cash now)

Gillianren
2012-Apr-12, 06:11 PM
I spend on my debit card differently from how I spend in cash. If I have cash in hand, that's already removed from my budget, and I don't have to account for it as closely. This lets me feel as though I'm spending more money, which gives me an endorphin rush and can help counterattack minor mood instabilities. Not that I expect an entire economic system to revolve around my mental health issues, of course.

Oh, and everyone? Seriously? Correct usage puts the dollar sign in front of the number. Yes, you say it last, but it lets you make the distinction between dollars, pounds, Euros, yen, etc., right away.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Apr-12, 06:30 PM
Not if they have this chip system that they're trying to develop.

The idea is you would have some token that has a microchip that can do encoded transmissions that basically say "Add $X.YZ to my local total" and "Remove $T.UV from my local total". You could load that token with money from somewhere (like an ATM) and spend using the token, and have the same anonymity as you would with cash. If such a system can take off, phone makers could put the circuitry in new phones, so instead of the current pay by phone models, you would use your phone to load your digiwallet token, and use the phone's token to do your spending anonymously. Theoretically, if it works, you could total up your purchases, log in using your phone, load up its wallet, and pay anonymously with the wallet, and your bank statement would just see you transferred $M out of your account, but not who you transferred it to.

The problem is how to make the transaction not attributable to a specific wallet, and how to not make filling the wallet with a payment authorized by your phone attributable to both your phone and that specific wallet.

SeanF
2012-Apr-12, 07:38 PM
Oh, and everyone? Seriously? Correct usage puts the dollar sign in front of the number. Yes, you say it last, but it lets you make the distinction between dollars, pounds, Euros, yen, etc., right away.
I put the cents symbol after the number in my post (73). Is that right, or does that come before the number, too? I'm honestly asking, by the way. I almost put $0.73, but decided to go with the . :)


The problem is how to make the transaction not attributable to a specific wallet, and how to not make filling the wallet with a payment authorized by your phone attributable to both your phone and that specific wallet.
The transaction wouldn't necessarily have to be tied to a wallet, any more than a physical cash transaction is. The store system would show a deposit of $x from a digital wallet, but wouldn't have to record or even be aware of any kind of wallet ID number. And even if it did, as long as you can get a wallet anonymously, there wouldn't be any link between the wallet ID and the person. And now the word "wallet" doesn't look right to me anymore. :lol:

And if the phone merely acts as a user I/O device and lets the wallet chip communicate with the store system, it wouldn't have to tie to the phone, either.

Krel
2012-Apr-12, 09:04 PM
i've known quite a few people that were quite fluent in the metric system of weights and measures, specifically grams, kilograms, and cubic centimeters... and they were mostly high school dropouts..

They tried to teach me metric in high school back in the mid 70s, but it never took. Frankly I'm pigheaded enough to want to stick with Imperial just to be difficult. :lol: I have noticed more metric showing up in commercials within the last year.

The reason U.S. paper currency is the same size is costs. It was more cost effective to print paper currency in a uniform size then to have different printers for differing sizes. When it first came out there was great resistance to paper currency, but it was advertised as cheaper to make, and easier to carry about than coins. If you had coins then you need a small sack to carry them in. This can be seen in some westerns where everybody carried a purse, which is what the sack was called. Back then most currency was minted in precious metals, which is why the coins had serrated edges, to keep people from shaving gold, or silver from the edges of the coin. The penny and the nickle don't have serrated edges because they were made out of copper, and nickle, hence the name Nickle.

My father had an old coin that had the legend "half a dime" printed on it. I guess it was before the nickle. :lol:

David.

Perikles
2012-Apr-13, 07:44 AM
Back then most currency was minted in precious metals, which is why the coins had serrated edges, to keep people from shaving gold, or silver from the edges of the coin. The British One Pound coin still continues the tradition. It started off with Decus et Tutamen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_pound_(British_coin))stamped on the edge, but they got bored with that.

The material which they use to make coins can be significant in times of inflation. I seem to remember that a few decades back in Italy, people suddenly found that small change was difficult to find, and shops resorted to sweets and other alternatives to small coins. It transpired that some naughty gentlemen had realised that the smallest coins had a greater value as scrap metal than their face value, resulting in truck loads of coins transported abroad to be melted down.

Trebuchet
2012-Apr-13, 02:30 PM
The material which they use to make coins can be significant in times of inflation. I seem to remember that a few decades back in Italy, people suddenly found that small change was difficult to find, and shops resorted to sweets and other alternatives to small coins. It transpired that some naughty gentlemen had realised that the smallest coins had a greater value as scrap metal than their face value, resulting in truck loads of coins transported abroad to be melted down. That happened with the US cent as well, when it was still made of copper. Now they're copper-plated zinc.

In 1943, when copper was a strategic material, they made them out of steel for a while.

profloater
2012-Apr-13, 02:39 PM
The British One Pound coin still continues the tradition. It started off with Decus et Tutamen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_pound_(British_coin))stamped on the edge, but they got bored with that.

The material which they use to make coins can be significant in times of inflation. I seem to remember that a few decades back in Italy, people suddenly found that small change was difficult to find, and shops resorted to sweets and other alternatives to small coins. It transpired that some naughty gentlemen had realised that the smallest coins had a greater value as scrap metal than their face value, resulting in truck loads of coins transported abroad to be melted down.
I have a two pound coin here and it has around the outside rim "standing on the shoulders of giants" I never noticed that before. I wonder if it changes? (not the one I have obviously, other examples perhaps)