Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Connecting Coins

Click your coins together like Lego.
  (+61, -5)(+61, -5)(+61, -5)
(+61, -5)
  [vote for,

If you've ever had a paper route, you'll probably appreciate the problems that can be involved with carrying large amounts of change, especially when that change is of varying denominations and has to be quickly counted and dispensed. In many areas of life there are things like newspapers, underground tickets, sweets / candy that will cost x amount of money - say 35, 80 or 75 pence, cents or whatever - where this price is fairly standard. Because people will often pay with large denomination notes or coins rather than count out the change for themselves, the newspaper vendor, the paperboy, guy in the kiosk at the underground, and suchlike will often have set aside little piles of coins which add up to the change from a pound or dollar. I used to do this as a paperboy, and I've certainly seen the chap in the underground with piles of change sitting before him ready to give to customers. But a paperboy can only have as many separated-out change-quantities as he has pockets, and the kiosk man needs space to spread out separate piles.

This could be made much easier if we just designed our coins to snap together like Lego bricks (or like Connect Four counters - if anyone remembers them - but designed to hold together properly). No more digging through huge piles of loose change to pull out a handful which you then have to pick through to count out the right combination of 10's, 20's, 5's, etc.. Or if you're dealing with a _lot_ of change, you could keep it in handy 'stacks' of a dollar / pound in your pocket. Just put your hand into your pocket, pull out the roll of coins, and snap off the right number, casual as a poker player taking his ante off his stack of chips. (NB. My friends and I often play poker using two and five pence pieces as chips. If they clicked together firmly enough, we wouldn't have to worry about knocking over our stacks and having to count them all out again, which often happens as the night draws on and more and more beer is consumed.)

Of course, there would also be a fun element if these could be designed, like the two-by-two square Lego blocks, to overlap, so that you could actually build with them. Primarily, though, I think this would just be a simple way make life just a little easier.

Guy Fox, Jan 17 2002

(???) Coinstruction http://www.kopes.co...s/coinstruction.htm
I have one of these sets, fun to mess with [hoopdy, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Picture http://img420.image...20/1364/coin5rv.png
How I imagine this could work. [dbmag9, Oct 26 2005]


       10p pieces could be designed so that they clicked together into a stack. They could also be such that a stack of 9 10p pieces would attach sideways onto another 10p piece - making it very easy to build £1 blocks. Lovely idea. Pain au Chocolat.
hippo, Jan 17 2002

       This would also eliminate the need for those #$@& paper wrappers. I just spent three hours last night rolling about $400.00 in loose change. Trying to stuff it all into those paper tubes is a PITA.
Guncrazy, Jan 17 2002

       A biscuit-worthy idea, sir. But in order to design an attachment mechanism onto the coins, they would necessarily have to lose their flatness, would they not? Would this play havoc with other uses, such as coin-op machines?
waugsqueke, Jan 17 2002

       Its an interesting idea. I've seen belts that have tubes of metal that hold coins in them. These belts allow you to hold a substantial amount of money and be able to dispense it quickly. I don't know what the belts are called or where you can buy them though.
TXP, Jan 17 2002

       Ah, thank you Guy Fox! Big croissants (interlockable) for you.
quarterbaker, Jan 17 2002

       qb, did you give Guy 15 croissants, and if you did how did you do that? all those little knobbly bits would play havoc with your pockets.
po, Jan 17 2002

       po - the plurality was in my intent only; alas, I have but one croissant to give or withhold per idea. The nobbly bits would certainly be less havocating than, say, keys, golf tees, bunny parts, and other normal pocketable portables.
quarterbaker, Jan 17 2002

       Guncrazy: I always thought those paper tubes were just put on at the Mints. Didn't realise people 'rolled' them after the coins were in circulation. When I was a paperboy, though, I used to have a ton of plastic change bags I had to use to sort out the cash I owed the shopkeeper from my own tips and charge. But, yes. No more paper or plastic bags needed, so less waste as well as less hassle.   

       PS: Holed coins might work for a vendor - he could have 'money spikes', presumably - but a necklace would just be a hassle to most of us. You'd have to take it off, unclasp it, take off x number of coins without spilling the whole lot like beads then clasp it back up again. You'd also lose the 'chunking' advantage of being able to hold coinage in instantly accessible, pre-selected / easily selectable amounts.   

       Also, I kind of like where I'm staying right now, ta. If you're offering a relocation fund, though... <g>   

       waugs: Good point. I think the studs would probably have to be quite shallow anyway, as you wouldn't want your stack of ten pences / cents to get stuck tight the same way those 'flat' pieces of Lego can; biting and clawing to get a piece loose is fine on plastic, but I wouldn't fancy it on metal. So it might be possible to get a stud-socket arrangement somewhere between Connect Four counters and Lego, which would bind them without being too prominent for coin-op machines. Not sure.   

       TXP: There's all sorts of contraptions for holding money. I used to have a wee plastic thingumyjig that held five pound coins and I think there are still bus conductors' ticket machines here which have places to store money. But why buy a contraption when the money could do the job itself for free?   

       po: I'm sure he didn't; It wouldn't be fair. Anyhoo... knobbly bits. The way I was thinking it would just be like having a few packets of Polo Mints or Rolos in your pocket. Only the studs on the top coin should be jutting out and they'd be littler than the ickle studs on the top of a battery.
Guy Fox, Jan 17 2002

       [PeterSealy]: If I'd bought a coin wrapping machine, I wouldn't have had anything to put in it.
Guncrazy, Jan 17 2002

       INterlocking coins are a great idea, much better than the odd shaped coinage in many countries (attempts at originality?). As for coins with holes in them, they stopped production due to a shortage of holes.
jetckalz, Jan 17 2002

       Guy, I don't have time to put all my coins in a little pile just to have to peel them off again. I am not usually so negative but I can't see any advantage in this at all and men wouldn't be able to jangle their money in their pocket annoyingly - oh yes this is a good idea, croissant.
po, Jan 17 2002

       For lots of fun, make them magnetic.
StarChaser, Jan 17 2002

       I was gonna say make 'em magnetic too. Embed small magnets in a pattern unique to each coin. Coins of similar denomination will self-assemble into a tidy stack just by shaking your pocket.
koz, Jan 17 2002

       Magnetic coins would be horrible for credit cards and other magnetic media.   

       These coins would be expensive to make if you wanted them to be truly lego-like. Look *very closely* at the metal snaps on a coat or jacket. Those cannot just be stamped out of a slug.   

       Unless you want coins made out of plastic and looking like legos, you'll have to stick to the poker-chip idea.
seal, Jan 18 2002

       I know that I for one will be very glad to carry a stack of Connecting Coins in my pants pocket. Now women in their best Mae West imitation will draw near and whisper in my ear, "Is that a roll of Connecting Coins in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?"....I'm looking forward to all the new attention. I just have to come up with a few good Cary Grant comebacks.
jurist, Jan 18 2002

       I still hate rolling coins. That's why I put it off so long. Still, no bank around here will take them if they're not rolled. On the bright side, I now have, quite literally, a big chunk of change. Don't know how I'm going to spend it yet, but Sony just came out with a new PDA...
Guncrazy, Jan 18 2002

       Rods - I though of that, too. But given the thickness/diameter ratio, it would end up kind of like camera lens filters, which are not terribly easy to start threading. But they are a good model for shallow threading on thin objects.

One drawback to any interlock mechanism (maybe) is that the current coins don't require any specific orientation of head/tail for any purpose apart from chance/bet situations. Drop a connecting coin in a vending machine: will it be able to ascertain the denomination regardless of the head/tail orientation? Don't know, but its a definite design consideration.
quarterbaker, Jan 18 2002

       Gee, Rods, I've always wanted to say "screw the small change" but until now....   

       What you really need, Guy, is a piece of clothing, like a vest, for example, with multiple pockets. Say thirty or forty small pockets, each with velcro closures. That should be sufficient to keep you rolling in dough. And in your spare time you could rent yourself out as a one-man-band. Rrrip clink, rrip clink, rrrip clink clink rrrrrip rrrrip. (Say, isn't that "Money" by Pink Floyd?)   

       Much more simply, try stapling old unmatched socks (wash them first) to your shirt and fill them with your different coins. That way if someone tried to rob you, you would be able to fend them off with that argyle full of quarters!
Canuck, Jan 19 2002

       Canuck- You missed "Kerching!"
TimHighfield, Jan 19 2002

       I've always wondered what the verb, to 'kerch' means, when people talk about going 'kerching'.
Guy Fox, Jan 19 2002

       Seal: That's kind of what I meant by 'lots of fun'...
StarChaser, Jan 19 2002

       If we want to wear our connected coins, why don't we just go back to Wampum? The Wampum colors will symbolize the worth then you could weave them into attractive patterns and specific sizes. Need a loaf of bread?, use a small thin bracelet. Downpayment on a car?, use your beaded wedding gown. I think we all should go back to making our own money anyway.... but i live in a fantasy land sometimes.
C Monkey, Feb 05 2002

       Baked! Many many moons ago on a holiday to Club Med, i remember them using a cashless system (kinda like in a game arcade where you exchange money for tokens), except these tokens came in the form of beads, with different sized beads representing different dollar/coin denominations. each bead had a hole on 1 side, and a... for lack of better word, knob, on the other, so you fit them into each other to form bracelets/ necklaces/ anklets and use them throughout the resort, instead of fumbling with hard cold cash. Ok, so it's not lego blocks, but it's a similar idea.
superspygirl, Feb 06 2002

       In the Roman Empire, it was common for citizens to have a slave accompany them to market. The slaves would hold the coins in their mouths.   

       I would love to see this revived, and yet for some reason, "Coin Holding Mouth Slaves" has not been well-received here. So I begrudgingly grant Guy Fox a croissant. Vae Victus.
sera, Feb 06 2002

       Good ideas, lots of potential time saving techniques if implimented properly.
Bongmaster, Jul 16 2003

       Baked?!? [link]
hoopdy, Jul 16 2003

       What would you do when you have a wallet with a little zipper coin pouch, but when you try to take out the coins, BAM! Their all stuck in their, stacked up, and makes a big lump in your wallet. It will be annoying to sit on and to get out if the coins tend to be built up and if you had alot of coins, they would all be stuck together and you would have to pry them apart.
phaders, Nov 02 2003

       Yes yes yes. But need to have the coins color coded for easy recognition when looking at the stack of coins sideways. Also each coin would have a slightly different ring when struck for the blind.
PhillyJoe, Nov 03 2003

       Nice idea, especially for fraudsters. Hand someone a stack of stuck together coins, and they'd have to unstick every single one to check if it's real! Would make it more of a pain than a benefit :-)
runonthespot, Feb 17 2005

       I miss Guy Fox.
salachair, Feb 17 2005

       I miss Guy Fawkes.
etherman, Feb 17 2005

       This is a very good idea. I can imagine it being done quite easily, without having to reprogram vending machines ect. Simply move the middle section slightly outwards, creating a depression in one side, matched exactly by the expression (wrong word, I know, but he is friends with depression and did not want to be separated) on the other side. See [linky] for picture.
dbmag9, Oct 26 2005


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