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New Dollar Coins - Will we use them

Original post made by Interested, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on May 17, 2007

We now have another attempt at getting us to use $ coins instead of bills. Will we do it. I doubt it unless we are forced to.

I remember in Britain when the first Pound coins came out, no one liked them for a variety of reasons (the same as here). Then, all the vending machines started taking them and we needed to have them for buying rail tickets, parking permits, etc. as well as for food and beverage machines. Up until this time the vending machines only took coins, not paper money. Suddenly, it was much easier to use coins in bigger denomination instead of loads of small coins and everyone started liking them.

I feel that one group will like them - the blind. They can at last have a $ to use that they know is a dollar and nothing else. I have no idea how the blind manage here as all bills are the same size. In other countries, the bills are different sizes so that the blind can tell which is which. I expect that they would like a $5 coin too.

Comments (11)

Posted by Peter
a resident of Southgate
on May 17, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Dollar coins are quite handy for parking in San Francisco. In many places in the city parking is $3.00 per hour. Feeding nickels, dimes, and quarters into those grinning meters becomes ridiculous. I keep several dollar coins in my car for trips to S.F.

Posted by Can't unwrap 'em
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2007 at 6:08 pm

I got a few from the Post Office machine, and they resemble foil covered chocolate coins. Just don't try to unwrap them!

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2007 at 6:08 pm

A saloon in El Dorado gives change in Susies.

Posted by Resident (rather naive)
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2007 at 6:31 pm

I rather dread to think what susie might be slang for!!

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Sorry - Susan B. Anthony dollar.
Just for kicks, get a roll of Susies or Sakajaweas, or the new President dollar coins and see how many mistake it for aquarter.

Posted by European gal
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 17, 2007 at 9:19 pm

In Europe they've had 1 and 2 euro coins since the euro was introduced a few years ago. That would be roughly equivalent to $1 and $2 coins.

Well, they all complain about the 1 euro coin, saying that they end up with a lot of them in their wallet which ends up being heavy, and that they'd rather have 1 euro banknotes instead. And I would agree. When I am in Europe I always end up with this heavy, full, wallet. It would seem to me, the same thing will happen with $1 coins...

Posted by Practical
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2007 at 10:52 pm

Right on Walter! I have spent way too many dollar coins as quarters, even when I'm make a conscious effort to differentiate.

Dollar coins can be a convenience, but I will continue to avoid them until they make one that can instantly be told apart from a quarter by looks and feel.

(I've never noticed such confusing similarities in European currencies.)

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2007 at 5:02 am

I believe someone proposed a silver dollar sized plastic coin whose lighter weight might overcome one objection to coins. During WWII there were plastic ration tokens that seemed to wear well. The plastic coin might even incorporate an electronic means of validation.

Posted by Interested
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2007 at 9:13 am

One big difference here to Europe (including Britain where Pounds are still used, not Euros) is that Europeans tend to aim to give exact change rather than get change back. This tendency prevents them from getting over fat wallets. As I see it, the reason why the same doesn't happen here is because of sales tax and not knowing what the exact money is until you actually have to pay so you end up getting out a big bill knowing that that will cover it. For example, if you want to buy a magazine which is marked as costing $2.50, you will get out $3 in ones, or $5 bill and expect some change. In Europe you would get out the exact money and not have to wait for change. In other words, take up less time at the check out. Here, if I wait until I am told how much I have to pay, I hold the line up looking for the correct money and waste my time as well as those in line behind. If I could know what the exact money was I would be out in half the time and so would everyone else.

Posted by joyce
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 18, 2007 at 4:58 pm

While we're on the topic, why is U.S. paper money so ugly compared to other countries'?

Posted by bruce
a resident of University South
on May 31, 2007 at 5:36 pm

If you plan to use them for vending machines, stock up and carry in a separte coin purse. For the rest of us they are too heavy and can't easily be told from quarters - especially in dim light.

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