Showing posts with label Mint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mint. Show all posts

August 16, 2015

Victorian Penny Car



I took these photos in Classic Motors of Washington, D.C. 

This car is made of Victorian Pennies from the U.K. 

The pennies are special (1837-1901) with an intricate design of British Queen Victoria. 

This car is one of only 9 in the entire world. 

The sign in the back window says, "This vehicle is not for sale."

It's got to be some job to get all those old pennies on this car. 

I remember when we were kids my sister had this long green plastic container for collecting pennies.  

Pennies already back in those days were worthless, and it was just a hobby to throw them in and see how many we could collect. 

After some years, the thing was so heavy, I could use it for my exercise routine.

So why do we still make stupid pennies...for classic collector vehicles?  

Old habits die hard, and the government is a big bureaucratic ship that doesn't turn on a penny or dime or whatever--I think that's the real reason we still do so many nonsensical things. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 25, 2014

What A Waste Of Coin

Coming to work this week, I saw a penny on the ground...then another...and another.

I saw people passing the money, and instead of picking it up, they kicked in off the curb.

That's even worse than throwing them into the fountain where at least you might get some good luck from it. 

Thus, the state of our minting of coinage--it's essentially worthless.

After getting a pretty basic Venti Java Chip at Starbucks for a whopping $5.45, I quickly calculated, I would need 545 pennies,109 nickles, 54.5 dimes, or 21.8 quarters o pay for this--how ridiculous!  

And uh, how many of these would you need to pay someone one hour at the new proposed minimum wage of $10.10 if you did it in coins?

Otherwise, I could just give them a credit or debit card--yes, sort of a no brainer, right?

Why do we keep making coinage that no one wants or needs in the digital age?

We have direct deposit for payroll, automatic deductions for many expenses, online banking, ecommerce , credit and debit cards, paypal, and even bitcoin...let's just be honest and admit it, traditional money is basically obsolete. 

At Starbucks, I see many people now just use their Smartphone App to pay and get rewards--another advance. 

Someday soon, we will have embedded chips that simply add and deduct payments as we go along and live life--it's really not all that complicated. 

The funny thing also is that it costs more to make many coins then their intrinsic worth--and hence the drive towards making coins with cheaper materials. 

According to Business Insider, in 2012, a penny cost 2.4 cents to make and a nickle 11.2 cents--quite a losing proposition. 

While there truly are some valuable coins out there and I appreciate that there are many coin lovers and collectors--numismatists--perhaps there are alternate hobbies to consider. 

A colleague once told me that "If you watch your pennies, the dollars will follow"--and that may be some good investement advice, but in a 24/7 society and after decades of inflation, there isn't enough time or room to collect all the pennies we would need to make much of a difference. 

ABC News reports that while our northern brother, Canada, got rid of the penny in 2012, we still make something like 5 billion of these useless things a year. 

Full disclosure: my first job in Washington, D.C. was for the U.S. Mint, and while there were good things about it, I could never feel good about the mission--it just had no purpose. ;-)

All Opinions my own.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Maura Teague)
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