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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 2, January 8, 2006, Article 13

MINOR COINS CHANGE IN MODERN SOCIETY

Dick Johnson writes: "There is a reason we call minor
coins "change."  Events are causing a lot of change
in our coin change. ATMs, debit cards, and Coinstar
coin-counting machines - products of modern technology -
are all influencing how we make small payments thus
affecting the very existence of our cents, nickels,
dimes and quarters.

This was dramatically brought to mind this week by an
excellent article in the Delaware News Journal. Writer
Christopher Yasiejko reported some interesting facts
including these two: about $10.5 billion in coins sits
idle nationwide, and the average U.S. home has about $99
in idle change [read "minor coins"].

"A stream of innovations," Yasiejko reports, "during the
past quarter-century have made it easier to avoid coins
altogether."  He cites credit cards, EZPass, Speedpass
and PayPass among these innovations.

He notes that some coins are lost. "Mostly, though, change
ends up at home, scattered atop tables and counters or
collected in a container for later use." He cites several
examples of people recognizing this fact, carting their
coin stash to the local supermarket or bank and converting
coins to cash.

Commerce Bank in seven states in his area placed coin-exchange
machines in each of their banks and coin counted nearly $349
million in 2005. He also quoted coin dealer Steven Hershkowitz,
owner of the Coin Gallery of Delaware, who reported he doesn't
much like debit cards. (Do you, E-Sylum reader?)

He mentioned Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz) introduced a bill in 2001
to eliminate the cent. His proposed legislation, Legal Tender
Modernization Act, died in committee.

Four pages long, this great article (he even gets penny / cent
usage correct) can be read at:

Full Story "

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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