It’s amazing what people leave behind on the Coinstar change counter machine in my local Sainsbury’s…[From The Copper Counter Blog]
There was a serious side to the story though, which was about the cost of converting cash into other forms. The machines currently charge 7.9% and this about to rise to something like 9.5%.
Supermarket coin-changing machines are popular, even though they charge a fee. Banks change money for free – but it is not always so convenient an option.[From BBC NEWS | Programmes | Moneybox | Have your say: Pin fraud and coins]
Judging by the interviewees, and other previous discussions I’ve been involved in, people seemed quite happy to pay the massive transaction charge of heading towards a tenth in order to use up coins in the supermarket. You put in ten quids-worth of coins and you get back a voucher for £9.21 to use at the checkout. As the Copper Counter blogger pointed out on the show, this is odd, since if you pour the coins into the self-checkout machine then you pay no transaction charge at all. Anyway, the point is that coins are so much of a pain that customers will pay a high fee to get rid of them.
Low-value coins are a waste of resources. If we’re going to have coins, we should have coins that are worth something, as in the good old days of Queen Boudicca.
The 824 so-called staters were found, using a metal detector, in a broken pottery jar buried in a field near Wickham Market… the coins dated from 40BC to AD15 are thought to have been minted by predecessors of the Iceni Queen Boudicca… their value when in circulation had been estimated at a modern equivalent of between £500,000 and £1m[From BBC NEWS | UK | England | Suffolk | Huge Iron Age haul of coins found]
So roughly a thousand coins were worth roughly a million pounds. That makes each coin worth around £1,000 in today’s money. What could they have been used for? Like 500 euro notes, they could only have been used for tax evasion: I’ll bet their Celtic inscription translates as “don’t render unto Caesar”.
These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]