Big Change

I was reminded by another blog that money is something we think about alot today. Specifically how much money. I would like to turn that idea on its head a little bit today, and instead as the question of how big money.

Now, some of you might say, all dollar bills are the same size. True. However, there are interesting discrepancies of size if you look smaller. A one-dollar bill is smaller than all coins, at least in the first two dimensions. All coins have more depth than the papery dollar. However, a dime has greater monetary worth (I won’t argue intrinsic value) than a penny, but a shorter diameter and shorter depth as well. Why should this be? And why is a quater almost exactly the same size as a dollar coin, whether silver or gold? That’s just silly, especially considering that the size of coins and thir shape and outer ridges are supposed to help identify individual coins. Don’t tell me we made the dollar the same size as a quarter to make things easier for blind people.

Which brings me to my all-time favorite coin, the largest of the pack – the half-dollar. This wonderous little monster is adorable in its size.  Yet nobody uses it.  Is it because we’ve moved to carrying less change, and thus have smaller pockets?  IS it because nothing is worth 50 cents anymore?  Or was it never in wide circulation?  Why even have a half dollar?

One of its most interesting uses is in soccer matches, to determine who gets the first kickoff.  This is because soccer is played on grass – you can use a smaller coin, like a quarter, but it’s much more difficult to find.  The nice, big half-dollar shows up easily between the blades.  Unfortunately, because of the large surface area, the half-dollar is also the most unfair coin.  The dime, because of its tiny surface area and thus much smaller additional weight on the ‘heads’ side, is the statistically fairest.  I learned that little factoid direct from Michael T. Weiss of Pretender fame.  Anyway, conclusion is – if you want a fair toss, use a dime.  Even if you lose it afterwards.  Who can’t afford to lose 10 cents once and awhile, anyway?

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