When is small-change too small?


I have a jar with all the coins that I end up with and use them to buy stamps etc for which the post office are grateful to have the little coins. Phase out the 2 and 5 centimes but keep the 1 centime pieces. Same with the gold coins, do away with 20 and 50 centimes but keep the tens.

I can’t remember using anything below 50 cent coins in my 5 years here as most of my payments are contactless.

I have a tin with all the shrapnel which gets put into the machine at Intermarché after I almost broke the coin deposit machine at my local bank…

I have a tin to save the dubloons [‘double ones’ = 2€s]. Haven’t got many as so few occasions I use cash. And a bowl which 1c and 2c share with the bananas.

I did have a ‘savings bank’ - an infant’s sock mounted on a bracket. I put £1 coins in this whenever any cropped up in my pocket. The sock started out teeny weeny but expanded amazingly as the coins went in.

My rule was not to take any out until the last coin would not fit entirely into the slot. When that day came, the sock was bulging. I found the total to be exactly £200!

But I was thinking yesterday, as I swept the floor in the salon/comedor and found a 2c coin - I have one superstition and that is not to be casual about these small coins - ie don’t sweep it into the dustpan as if it is ‘rubbish’. I can ill afford to treat any money that way.

We keep little denominations in columns on the hall table for croissants every morning. The exact change seems much appreciated by the boulangère.

:coin: :coin: :coin:


Of course… there will be the collection tin for “les bluets” 11 November Commemoration … “shrapnel” small-change is always welcome… :+1: :+1:

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In January/February every year you see small cardboard “pieces jaunes” boxes appearing in shops, post offices, banks and so on. These are for small denominations and go to a good cause, children’s hospitals and that sort of thing.


The problem with phasing out small denomination coins is that it increases the minimum price rise that can be applied to goods in the shops.

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You obviously don’t food shop on markets, where only bouchers and fromagers can usually be paid with a card, unlike veg growers or producteurs of eggs and cheeses.

However several people we buy from round the price down to the nearest ten centimes and while this is appreciated, I’d like them to have charity collecting boxes for the shrapnel.

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In Oz we got rid of 1c and 2c years ago, everything just gets rounded up or down to the nearest 5c.

Packing my bags in the supermarket earlier and spotted a 50centime piece by my foot, the cashier said to keep it for luck. I didn’t win anything on the jeu they were giving tokens for on the way out though! Its now in my jar of bits for small items.

Such a horrible word. Not just because of echoes of an uncomfortable past, but also because Mr Shrapnel was not a nice man.

Why? What did he do? And which, I believe he had 2 sons?

As to the little brown money, I hate it because I can’t tell one from t’other, unless they are of differing values and lying next to each other that is.

@DrMarkH Both our Thursday and Sunday veg stalls take the card, and I always use it, you never know where those mucky coins have been. :roll_eyes: :rofl:

it’s obviously a difficult decision for the govt… and it’s obvious that these coins/values are still in use… otherwise, who would care… :wink:
and not everyone has a carte bancaire etc…

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I’m not sure how much copper is actually used for the small centimes but the value of copper (and bronze) has gone through the roof, so may have something to do with it?

Or not

“Rising copper to make coins worth more as scrap”

I read somewhere that the Dutch have done away with all the little brown coins and cheques as well.