Small Change

We’ve spent the last few weeks working on clearing out my wife’s father’s house. He passed away earlier this year. Let me tell you, the man had a lot of coins!

I wrote earlier about his collection of valuable coins, but he also had a lot of ‘everyday small change’. I would estimate that they add up to about 2-3 coffee cans worth. To give you an idea of how much that is, a coffee can grill of coins weighs a hefty 24#.

Given the great passage of time & toll of inflation since anyone has bothered to stoop over to pick up a penny, we are long overdue to just eliminate them. I say let’s give up on the nickel while we are at it too. They have become a great national nuisance – weighing us down both figuratively and literally.

Googling this topic, I see that economists have been calling for the ban of both of these for more than 10 years. The esteemed Brookings Institute wrote a piece in 2013 arguing that a penny had but 1/17th of its 1940 value. Put another way, a 2023 nickel would have bought $1.10 worth of merchandise in 1940. Yes, a nickel had purchasing power like a dollar coin would today.

Later this week, we’ll find out how much the roughly 50-75# of coins we now have are worth. I honestly wish they had been spent on something fun & frivolous rather than collecting dust all these years. If they had been in more relevant denominations, maybe they would have been.

Are you an ‘everyday small change’ collector? Or, do you have a habit to regularly get rid of them?

Image: Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Small Change

  1. I saved up all my coins until I had enough small change to bring to the elementary school where I worked, gave them to the classroom teacher, we used them to teach the little ones about money. You need enough to make at least $1.00 with each of the coins 🙂 Also, some of the board games for children don’t have very good replicas of coins, so we’d switch those out with real coins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Using real money to replace fake money – that tells you how much our currency has depreciated!

      That reminds us of one of our old neighbors. They built a sandbox – when the kids were little – and he mixed a coffee can of old coins in with the sand. The kids were pulling coins out of it for years. They were very excited to ‘find the treasure.


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