Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pi cent piece

(Collectors' item - Proof sets only)
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(+16)
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DESCRIPTION: The pi-cent piece is a pretty coin; made of silvery-white steel alloy. The obverse has a picture of a yummy piece of apple pie (the symbol of America!) and the legends "In God We Trust" and "Pi Cents" on it. The reverse shows a radius of the coin's circle with "r" marked on it, and the number pi itself written spiraling from outside to inside, with the numbers getting smaller and smaller until you can't see them. (The first 100 or so digits are visible).

VALUE: Aside from its face value and collector's value, the pi cent piece is grounded in functionality; a necessity when it comes to purchasing round items. Consider the pizza. Not one pizzeria that I know of accurately prices their square pizza relative to their round pizza. How can they, when the round pizza always evaluates to an irrational number of square inches? The pi cent piece would eliminate this trauma. Now, a pizza maker could charge $0.10 per square inch for a 12" pie, knowing that the final purchase price of $3.6*pi could be exactly paid.

This system of payment will never be implemented, because not just one, but a whole family of pi-denominated coins would have to be created. The pi-cent piece, now available from the U.S. mint, serves to remind us not only of the beauty of mathematics, but also of its infinite complexity.

The pi cent piece is a highly collectible item! Much more so than those stupid "State Quarters". There is a strict limit of 5 per caller, so order yours today!

phundug, Jul 24 2003

Find additional coin designs here. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/212
[Amos Kito, Oct 05 2004, last modified Jan 31 2008]

Pi, remembered. http://mathworld.wo...com/PiWordplay.html
[Amos Kito, Oct 05 2004]

(?) Change-minimizing coinage http://www.nature.c...30512/030512-9.html
[n-pearson, Oct 05 2004]

Liquid currency http://www.halfbake...a/Liquid_20Currency
Avoids the issue completely. [lubbit, Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       Excellent!
angel, Jul 24 2003
  

       My dad always said I had a thing for spending irrational sums of money.
RayfordSteele, Jul 24 2003
  

       I had an i coin collection - or perhaps I just dreamed it.
Worldgineer, Jul 24 2003
  

       The gem in this is the "problem" of pricing round things relative to square. Very nice, and the spiraling number would be very cool. I think the bonemonger here are just folks who generally get irritated by pi.
bungston, Jul 24 2003
  

       The not-so-bright architect was taught to remember the digits of pi from the phrase: "May I have a large container of coffee?". The first building he designed collapsed because he forgot where to put the decimal point.
phundug, Jul 24 2003
  

       <cringe />
Worldgineer, Jul 24 2003
  

       I've thought of selling pizza by the whole radian before, but the problem I saw was what to do with the remainder after cutting as such. For uniform-density commodities, mass seems to work well...but, with these coins, we could also buy ice cream by scoops of known spherical or cylindrical radius, versus rectangular blocks!   

       Also, seems like some of the denominations dreamed up in recent work on minimizing average pocket change (see link) involve powers of e, e.g. a $.37 piece, which is roughly 1/e...
n-pearson, Jul 24 2003
  

       That one's good, cause the comma tells you where to put the decimal point. Else you might think that pi is 3.31415926...
phundug, Jul 24 2003
  

       you know they'd just stop selling round pizza.
HalfwayHebrew, Jul 25 2003
  

       Customer: Can I get change for a Pi cent piece?   

       Shopkeeper: No.
dbsousa, Jul 25 2003
  

       you could draw one on your r-theta etch a sketch, to stretch your maths..
neilp, Jul 25 2003
  

       I vote against the pi cent peice,not because it isn't original, but because it isn't functional. Unless you maybe expect people to carry around bags full of pi cent peices, and even then after tax what happens?   

       Instead you need to develop a FULL SCALE of multiples of pi in cents and dollars, as well as fractions of pi, mostly just the obvious ones like 1/2 pi, 1/4 pi, 1/6 pi, 1/8 pi etc.   

       In this way we can truely pay for pizza in an equitable manner. And wholesalers can buy pizza in bulk and still get it right.
Doodler, Jul 25 2003
  

       This idea has already been thought of, but quashed by pizza retailers. It is the pizza retailer's code to charge us the price of a square pizza, minus a tiny little bit. The fairer "Pi cent piece" method would clearly cause disruption.
DRstrathmore, Jul 25 2003
  

       rhaaack! Pizzas of Eight, Pizzas of Eight! rhaaack!
Zimmy, Jul 27 2003
  

       from wired magazine:   

       When Kamen wanted to erect a wind turbine on North Dumpling and the state of New York objected, he seceded from the US. Though the secession has never been officially recognized, he signed a nonaggression pact with his friend, then-President George Bush, and enlisted Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's as "joint chiefs of ice cream." North Dumpling has its own flag, its own anthem, a one-ship navy, and its own currency. One bill, which Kamen carries in his wallet, is the value of pi. "You can't make change for it," he says with a grin. "It's a transcendental function."
dbsousa, Jul 27 2003
  

       [Zanzibar], nice rhyme, but try 'Dr. Johnson' as opposed to 'Doctor Johnson'
modular, Oct 28 2003
  

       Wow, good catch there [modular]. Amazed that with this crowd it took 3 months to notice an incorrect 28th digit.
krelnik, Oct 28 2003
  

       SQUARE PIZZA IS BETTER!
xylene, Oct 28 2003
  

       I don't think there's any point in remembering PI beyond 10 or so decimal places. After all you can generously say "keep the change".
benjamin, Dec 29 2003
  

       I would think a Ö cent piece [(1+sqrt(5))/2 or about 1.6180] would be better.
supercat, Dec 29 2003
  

       That's phi, not Ö.   

       Great idea.   

       I also want the phi p coin, the e p coin and the i p coin. For bank notes I want aleph-null.
dbmag9, Apr 18 2006
  

       And a Klein pocket to keep them in.
egbert, Apr 18 2006
  

       How do I buy a ball? I'd need a 1/3pi coin.
bdag, Sep 23 2009
  
      
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