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Contents of my pot of small change

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9th Jan 2012 | 14:14

I have an earthenware pot into which I dump my small change: any coins worth less than 50p. (It's like a pot of gold that has suffered hyperinflation.) It was nearly full, so I took the coins to my bank in a very sturdy bag to convert them back to bits. Happily HSBC have a coin counting machine which is free for customers. Here are the results:

coin count value weight
1p (3.56g)  309 £  3.09  1100.04g
2p (7.12g)  163 £  3.26  1160.56g
5p (3.25g)  283 £ 14.15   919.75g
10p (6.5g)  294 £ 29.40  1911.00g
20p (5.0g)  426 £ 85.20  2130.00g
total 1475 £135.10  7221.35g

The machine also found US$1.91, NZ$0.50, HK$0.50, and €0.02.

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Comments {9}

A zero-width positive lookahead assertion

from: pseudomonas
date: 9th Jan 2012 14:17 (UTC)

Did the machine successfully identify the foreign coins, or just dump them in a pile marked "other"?

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 9th Jan 2012 14:36 (UTC)

They were returned to me in the rejection hopper :-)

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from: atreic
date: 9th Jan 2012 14:20 (UTC)

Odd. We had far more pennies than you and far fewer 20ps.


Err, proportionally. We only had half as many coins as you, so clearly we had far fewer 20ps strictly :-)

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from: cartesiandaemon
date: 9th Jan 2012 14:31 (UTC)

Yeah, I wondered how much this would vary between people. (For instance, some of the time I try to pay with exact change whenever I have it. Other times, I just pay with notes and pound coins and dump the change out at home when there's too much of it. I assume that you could model a simplified version of each of those and find an expected distribution, but I don't know if it woudl represent real life much or not.)

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Gerald the cuddly duck

from: gerald_duck
date: 9th Jan 2012 15:30 (UTC)

Personally, I run the office snack box. So I make occasional purchases from the wholesaler of £75 or so, then gradually get the money back as small change. This means I'm always trying to spend small-denomination coins.

…except when I go down to Devon for a week to visit my mother, of course. Then everything goes fine for the first few days until I suddenly find myself without change for a pay and display machine. )-8

I suspect I'm a statistical outlier…

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A zero-width positive lookahead assertion

from: pseudomonas
date: 9th Jan 2012 16:50 (UTC)

I think you could probably have "statistical outlier" on your business cards.

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Just a random swede

from: vatine
date: 9th Jan 2012 15:27 (UTC)

Hm, interesting. The decision I use as to dump coins into "get them out of my pocket, somewhere I can take them for future counting" is that I want at most one 1p, 2p, 5p or 10p coin, no more than 5 20p coins and no more than 3 50p coins. I also limit the amount carried in pound coins to "around 10 quid".

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 9th Jan 2012 15:37 (UTC)

I find the high value coins useful enough that I don't need to do anything special to stop them from accumulating too much. Since I have a pot of change I usually don't see any point taking time to sort out change at a till - except at times when I have done a lot of cash transactions since I was last able to empty my pockets.

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from: deborah_c
date: 9th Jan 2012 18:19 (UTC)

I was treasurer for Clare Rag one year. Taking the proceeds for a week or two's worth of the avenue of coins to the bank was always an interesting experience -- they didn't have a machine, so we had to pre-sort and count it all, but they really didn't like us coming in with a holdall or two of coins...

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