What do Americans know abut their coinage?
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14 posts in this topic

A TV ad got me thinking (I know...not good) about what Americans know about their coinage and how do they perceive the pieces in their pockets? Also, how to they determine if a coin is real or fake?

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I think they don't think about it....this day an age of ATM cards...coins are considered a nuisance to receive. Then you got to carry them around all day until you get home to get rid of it in your change dish....Then your kids run black ops and raid the dish...a dish that never increases past half full yet two to three times a week you add to it year after year. Anyway I don't think the average American thinks about the coinage.

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I don't think a "typical American" pays much, if any, attention to current coins.

 

From what I've seen, most younger (say, under 40) people don't want to deal with cents - they put them in the "leave a penny, take a penny" tray or just leave them behind on the counter. They sort-of know the difference between a nickel, a dime and a quarter - by size at least. As long as a coin is the right size, they'll take it in change - without caring if it's Canadian or Bahamian or from the UK.

 

Some people at work keep change around to put into the vending machines in the break-room.

 

People who go to coin-operated laundromats keep quarters around to use in the machines.

 

Other than that, people just put their change in jars - except for the elderly, who hold up everyone in line behind them as they pay for purchases with exact change.

 

And, some cashiers at grocery stores, etc. know people who collect "weird" coins (like Kennedy halves), so they save them for those people.

 

I think most people could tell the difference between those plastic coins that come in packets of play money and real coins, but they would only notice the difference if the plastic coins were rejected by a vending or CoinStar machine.

 

Back when moneyhoney was posting, she was the only person I've ever heard of who had a bank teller look at her coins and reject some of them. I can't imagine that happening here in the tri-state NYC suburbs.

 

I think that if I asked someone who was on a dime or nickel, they'd look at me funny - both for knowing who is on the coin and for looking at a coin long enough to see that someone is depicted on the coin.

 

Coins aren't relevant to commerce anymore - to most people they're just not important.

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With inflation the only coin that has much use at all is the quarter. Cents, nickels and dimes have no buying power, and the half dollar an dollar coins don't circulate. Prettty soon we'll be like London, England where the one pound coins are like pennies.

 

As for paying attention their coins, most people don't. I put mine in rolls and take them to the bank when I get enough of them. There are enough people who don't want to take the time to count their coins to keep those change machines that take a percentage of the total viable in the food stores.

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I would bet that the younger ones out there know more about Bitcoins than they do about any change that might end up in their pockets. ;)

 

 

 

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I would bet that the younger ones out there know more about Bitcoins than they do about any change that might end up in their pockets. ;)

 

 

 

My youngest (22) gives me all his change because he thinks it's a nuisance. Last year he said "dad, you should invest in "Bitcoins"

I'm glad I didn't listen to him and even happier he pays with paper.

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I'm pretty sure now days if a blank planchet fell out of a vending machine coin return slot, it wouldn't even be noticed. (or thrown away because it didn't look right)

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I think they don't think about it....this day an age of ATM cards...coins are considered a nuisance to receive. Then you got to carry them around all day until you get home to get rid of it in your change dish....Then your kids run black ops and raid the dish...a dish that never increases past half full yet two to three times a week you add to it year after year. Anyway I don't think the average American thinks about the coinage.

 

I selected yours to reply to but I agree with your and Dave G's posts completely.

 

Many people use them but mostly those who are excluded from the banking system need to do so. I don't use them except when I have no other choice. To my recollection, the only instances when I have in many years is to pay road tolls and to put air in my tires at the gas station. Otherwise, I write a few checks a year, pay everything else by credit card and pay it off at the end of the month. The change I received, I dump it in a drawer and it stays there. Maybe I have a few dollars. It has no purchasing power anyway.

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One of the local radio stations near me does a program called "insufficiently_thoughtful_person trivia" where they call up convenience store clerks and ask them simple questions. I was listening one day when they were asking them about the US coins. Not one of them could answer questions about who were on the coins or the inscriptions on them. And these were people who handle coins all day long every day.

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One of the local radio stations near me does a program called "insufficiently_thoughtful_person trivia" where they call up convenience store clerks and ask them simple questions. I was listening one day when they were asking them about the US coins. Not one of them could answer questions about who were on the coins or the inscriptions on them. And these were people who handle coins all day long every day.

 

They aren't paid to be smart. Why do you think they have to look at the cash register display to determine how much change is due the customer?

 

Chris

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