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According to CNN the US could save $150 million a year if we used coins for US dollars instead of bills. We print dollar bills because... I dunno, we just do. But the wear out so quickly we have to print more, and it's expensive. And it's a pain that they don't work well in vending machines. Coins would be great for that!

Instead, we still waste gobs of money making pennies which I've always said are a total waste of space and source of frustration.

Dollar coins are rare now. We kind of experimented with them, but with no plan to phase out dollar bills people didn't randomly opt-in for the change, not a huge shock. I wanted to support them though. They'd be good for us.

So friends, if you see a dollar coin, rejoice. Don't complain about the machine that kicked it out to you. Use it, spend it, keep it in circulation, it's saving us money!



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
I'm assuming you've never had to perform some wizardry to get a machine to take, say, a quarter? Like having to spin it, otherwise it will fall straight through to the coin return? Sure, it's easier than trying to get a machine to take a worn out dollar, but I don't think coins are 100% fail-proof, either.

Also, guys would riot since that would basically make wallets useless, and I don't really see guys embracing change purses or man bags. (Also, it would be heavier than paper money to carry around. I really think that's one main reason why the dollar coin didn't take off.)

Apparently Canada is now laminating their paper currency or something - I haven't really investigated it (I only heard about it recently), but I see that happening here before a pure coin-based system.

But if it didn't cost businesses money, I suspect we'd be tied to more electronic purchases than we currently are (i.e. some businesses not accepting paper money or coins at all).
Dec. 3rd, 2013 03:28 pm (UTC)

*shrug* We (Canada) have been using coins for dollars and two-dollars for decades and it really is no big deal. And in fact, vending machines in general don't have bill accepters at all, because they're not necessary. And we just got rid of the penny, and that turned out to be not a big deal at all either, since most transactions are done electronically anyway. Wallets are still useful as we still need somewhere to put our bills. We just consider dollars to be pocket change, just like Americans do with quarters.

As for our paper currency, it's not that they're laminated, it's that they are now made out of polymer, to last much longer. It's not that they're encased in plastic, they are plastic. Take a look at this image:


The white bits around that silver strip four-fifths of the way to the right is actually transparent plastic, you can see through it.
Dec. 3rd, 2013 04:11 pm (UTC)
Well, the last time we tried to phase out currency in the US, it didn't really work. I thought we had stopped printing $2 bills altogether, but apparently they are still being produced in tiny numbers. It's pretty much the unicorn of currency...you're more likely to run into a $1 coin or a half dollar than one of those babies.

Carrying a few extra coins would not be a big deal (to me), but the size of the coin would definitely be an issue to some people. People here have sorta rejected using 50 cent pieces and they are smaller than the dollar coins. Although if dollar bills were phased out I'd have to get a larger change purse, b/c the one I have now wouldn't have enough room.

Heh, I didn't know Canada's was completely polymer-based (it was just an offhand comment someone made in another LJ community and I hadn't really thought about it again until this post). I'm shocked the petroleum/plastics industry hasn't started hardcore lobbying for that here already.
Dec. 3rd, 2013 04:17 pm (UTC)
It may be that $2 coins actually make the amount of change bearable. I know that americans tend to carry a *lot* of singles, whereas I tend to have a couple twonies and a loonie or two. If I carried as many loonies as americans carried singles, then I could see that being heavier.
Dec. 3rd, 2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
It may come down to how things are priced. Most people in the US would rather carry a dollar bill than the equivalent amount in change. Also, prices like 10.99 or 10.95 tend to be common, so you could just give a cashier $11 and be left with a penny or nickel in change. It's mainly for convenience and speed. People would probably glare at you if you consistently counted out $.99 or $.95 cents in change all of the time, especially if there were lots of people waiting.
Dec. 3rd, 2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
But I wouldn't, I would just hand over a loonie ;) It's just something people get used to. We haven't had a dollar bill since 1987 or a two dollar bill since 1996 (I think), and nobody thinks anything of it. And no pennies since 2013. :)

On the other hand, I think electronic methods (Interac, CC) are more entrenched here, due to having an earlier centralized debit system than the US (and that has different and somewhat cheaper fee structures than the credit card systems)
Dec. 4th, 2013 09:29 am (UTC)
Well, you don't have a $1 bill to hand over any more, do you? XD

Like I said, if it cost businesses here less to do electronic transactions, I think some of them would stop accepting physical money. I could see gas stations going that way, since they are a popular target for armed hold-ups. (Some people would still try to rob them, but they'd take stuff like cigarettes or something.)
Dec. 4th, 2013 03:50 am (UTC)
I receive and spend a $2 probably annually. I haven't laid eyes on a 50¢ piece in probably 15 years, and I have NEVER used one for a

I like the weird money. Every couple years I'll get excited and ask my bank teller for 20 bucks in $1 dollar coins or $2 bills. </p>

As for men getting on board/being unwilling to carry coins, a slang term for carrying lots of ones is "stripper money." What will the strippers' patrons do if the dollar bill is eliminated? (Go broke upgrading to fives? That'd make some happy strippers!) I jest, and yet... Canadians in this thread: how are Canadian strippers tipped? Prurient minds want to know.

Dec. 4th, 2013 09:15 am (UTC)
I haven't seen a $2 bill since I was a kid (that's why I thought they weren't producing them anymore). I think people get antsy around $2 bills in the US, because they think they are fake. They might look weirdly at a 50-cent piece or $1 coin, but since counterfeiting coins is not really a big thing I don't think people freak out as much. Although, it might be fun to give a $2 bill to a teenage cashier when a store/business was having a slow day to see what happens.

LOL, I guess the strippers could start carrying change purses if the dollar bill went away? Nah, they probably wouldn't accept coins (I could see guys throwing them and hurting folks) and start taking $5 as the lowest form of currency. I guess guys could start getting $2 bills if they didn't want to spring for $5. The demand for $2 bills might rise!
Dec. 4th, 2013 10:42 am (UTC)
In the UK the smallest note is the 5 pound (about $8), we have 1 and 2 pound coins.

Vending machines here almost never accept notes, I only rarely have trouble persuading them to like my coins, but it's not perfect of course.

Personally I keep my coins in my humungous wallet but I'm a woman. My (male) partner keeps his in a pocket, and doesn't seem to have difficulty. I'm not seeing it making wallets "useless" there are after all many larger denomination bills that are still useful to carry around (spacefem doesn't seem to be proposing a pure coin-based system, just a $1 coin) also all those credit cards, store loyalty cards, membership cards ... have to live someplace.

I would also question the usefulness of large denomination notes (we have a 50 pound note) - if I'm paying that much I'll use plastic, carrying around that much cash feels reckless (also lots of places don't accept them, because they don't know how to check they aren't fake).
Dec. 4th, 2013 11:09 am (UTC)
Some guys just don't like carrying coins, period. Of course if they were forced to, they'd get over it. But I could totally see some politicians or talking heads in the US act like it was the end of humanity or something, since they are overdramatic crybabies 90% of the time.

They don't have pens in the UK to check for counterfeit bills? $20 bills seem to be the popular one to counterfeit when it comes to US currency, but more places here have started using the pens since they kept getting burned with fakes.
Dec. 4th, 2013 11:55 am (UTC)
We do have pens for that, yes. But apparently people don't trust them on fifties.

These guys who hate coins... where do they keep their nickles? dimes? pennies? or does all your stuff cost exactly $1, $2 etc? Because here loads of things are 5.93 or whatever and everyone has loads of pointless small change.

Change is generally hard and scary and lots of people will resist it; even when other people are doing the other thing totally happily. I think you have to have a really strong argument for why the change is good to make it happen.
Dec. 4th, 2013 12:07 pm (UTC)
I have known lots of guys who have change jars. Like, they will dump any coins they might happen to get during the day into the jar at night. They don't usually carry change when they leave the house. I don't like carrying lots of change either, but I'll spend it before I'll collect it in a jar. But then I have a purse/larger wallet with a coin section, so it's easier for me, b/c I'm not carrying it in my pocket, usually.

My dad seriously needs to use a change jar, b/c he wears knit pants a lot and loses coins out of his pockets all of the time.
Dec. 3rd, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC)
When soldiers were going to the Middle East, they used paper coins because coins weighed too much and would waste fuel.
Dec. 4th, 2013 02:54 am (UTC)
The pound coin was unpopular when introduced in the uk, now it is just accepted as normal and the 2 pound coin also. I hate dollar bills and the stupid vending machine bill readers, government just needs to say " we are replacing 10% of the bills printed each year with coins and will cease printing in the future" the long life span of the coins would gradually phase out the bills on its own
Dec. 4th, 2013 07:07 am (UTC)
I LOVE the 1 and 2 euro coins. Nothing like rifling through your pocket, fishing out a few coins, and having lunch money!

And yet, whenever I'm back in the US, I find the dollar coins rather silly. I have no idea why.
Dec. 14th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
I'm living in Japan now, where the smallest bill is ¥1,000 (about $10), so of course there are 100 yen coins and 500 yen coins. At any time, the average person probably has about $20-30 worth of coins in his or her changepurse. It's really cool, because there are so many things you can buy with just a few coins.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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