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# Single-Sized Coinage

Make all coins the same size and put holes in them
 (+4) [vote for, against]

Mint all coins, all denominations, in the same diameter and thickness - perhaps the size of a penny or even a little smaller. Each coin has a hole in the center, each denomination identified by a different a shaped hole*. This would 1) let people identify coins by feel as well as sight, 2) simplify vending machines and other coin-sorting devices, and 3) encourage people to carry and use coins, as they would hold more value with less bulk and weight.

* Coins with holes are WKTE, but I’m unaware of any using different shaped holes to show different denominations.

 — kdf, Sep 20 2020

Desert Island Discs https://en.wikipedi...Desert_Island_Discs
The radio programme which invented New Zealand [8th of 7, Sep 20 2020]

 This is a remarkably good idea.

 [+]

 However, it is not exactly "halfbaked", being simple, practical and useful.

 Typical coin denominations are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50.

 Solid, circle, triangle, square, rectangle, pentagon ... well, that's six.

 Make "solid" the highest denomination (25). Pentagon is 5. Triangle is 10. Circle is 1. Square can be 2, or 50, and you still have rectangle to play with.

 All can be easily discriminated by touch.

And there's an advantage for you [kdf]. When you're standing there with your hand in your trouser pocket making surreptitious fumbling movements, you can tell the officer that you're simply counting your change.
 — 8th of 7, Sep 20 2020

 We don’t have a 2 or 20 pence in the USA, so there might be enough regular polygons. I think hexagon and octagon are practical also, but any higher number of sides might be hard to tell from a circle (which I would avoid anyhow). You could expand the range of denominations by making fractional dollar/pound coins with a smooth edge, and values for coins larger than a dollar/pound signified by a milled edge.

 I also considered leaving the penny as a solid disc - the smallest rather than largest denomination - even if it seems counterintuitive. One concern is that a crook might try to change the value of their coins by changing the shape of the holes. So the coin metal must be difficult to file away, and any easy modification (especially filling in the hole) would reduce its value.

As for getting caught out at playing pocket pool, I’m more likely to say I’m playing elevator - “It’s up right now, you want to go down on it?”
 — kdf, Sep 20 2020

Last time I used a coin for anything was two years ago, and last time I used paper money was over a year go. Tap and go go!
 — xenzag, Sep 20 2020

 As well as different shaped holes, perhaps the coins can have slight colour variations. When the currency crashes, entrepreneurs can thread the coins onto chains, clips or ear hooks and sell them as jewelry.

We have the shop keys on a 'Lucky Penny' keychain; this kitsch is now a collectors' item, since Canuckistan discontinued the humble centime.
 — Sgt Teacup, Sep 20 2020

Xenzag, I’m almost at that point myself - but in the USA contactless payments aren’t ubiquitous yet. Some shops don’t even take credit cards. And some that do apply a surcharge unless you use cash - against all logic, as credit handling fees probably cost them less than cash handling does.
 — kdf, Sep 20 2020

Also, the decline of cash in the United States would take away the simple pleasure of spending \$2 bills. I was there last year and went into a bank to get a big stash of \$2 bills to spend while I was there. Spending them invariably gets some comment - generally surprise, mixed with annoyance (because there isn’t place in the cash drawer for them). This also applies to half-dollar coins and Susan B Anthonys.
 — hippo, Sep 20 2020

On the heated debate about the limited number of easily digitally-distinguishable regular polygons above, you can introduce other options, such as ‘X’ and ‘Y’- shaped holes
 — hippo, Sep 20 2020

Also, different size holes could easily be felt. For example, a coin with a hole 1/4 of the diameter would be easily distinguished from one with a hole 3/4 of the diameter.
 — scad mientist, Sep 20 2020

 Erm..I am probably behind the times but how's about coins with parity with a bitcoin.

So, easy to update the value of coins, via wifi, or whatever
 — not_morrison_rm, Sep 20 2020

//One concern is that a crook might try to change the value of their coins by changing the shape of the holes//
Make the shape of the hole part of the embossed pattern/artwork. The modifying (by removing metal) would be easily noticeable.
Also, if you're in New Zealand (which I am), there are only 10c, 20c, 50c, \$1, \$2 coins, so very easy to create holes of uniquely identifiable shapes for each (I'm thinking triangle, square, pentagon, circle, solid respectively).
I would suspect anything beyond a (regular) hexagon would be too hard to differentiate from a circle or other >6-sided hole by touch.

 // if you're in New Zealand (which I am) //

 ... they let you choose eight pieces of music, a book (as well as the Bible and the works of Shakespeare), and a luxury.

 Must get pretty lonely after a while, unless you're fond of sheep ...



You aren't "fond" of sheep, are you ? Please, tell us... er... actually, no. Don't tell us ANYTHING. That leads to a dark place we don't want to venture into.
 — 8th of 7, Sep 20 2020

 If the diameter is constant, then coin sorting/differentiation actually gets much more difficult. A square hole when rolling will look a lot like a triangular hole rolling, i.e. central hole with partial occlusion around the periphery. You'd have to hold it still and use imaging or something.

 Also, what's to stop the hole being manipulated? A square hole is easily made round with a drill. Then, any coins with a recognizable image would have to work around the hole, the Queen and Britannia are going to be all cramped up around the edge.

 //Make "solid" the highest denomination (25)//

A bit of JB weld/solder etc, and I can multiply my cash by 25x.
 — bs0u0155, Sep 21 2020

 "any coins with a recognizable image would have to work around the hole, the Queen and Britannia are going to be all cramped up around the edge" -bs0u0155, Sep 21 2020

That may bother traditionalists, but not me. I don't need to see a person or landmark engraved on my money, I just want to know what it's worth.
 — kdf, Sep 21 2020

 It's worth whatever someone else is prepared to exchange for it at any particular moment. Circumstances can hugely affect perceived value. That's what a lot of people forget.

 If you're in a crashed aircraft in the Andes, \$1000, or jewels, or gold bars won't even buy you a slice of bread if someone else has it and it's their own survival at stake.

An extreme example, but we consider it valid.
 — 8th of 7, Sep 21 2020

That’s true about “value” in a broad sense, a thing is only worth what someone will exchange for it. But I was merely addressing the perceived value of a face rather than a face value engraved on a coin.
 — kdf, Sep 22 2020

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