Thursday, May 06, 2010

Sorting foreign coins

I've been doing a lot of sorting and organizing lately and yesterday I got to the dregs - separating our big bag of change into the appropriate currency category. A plastic bag full of foreign coins and bills has been sitting in our bottom desk drawer for as long as I can remember, slowly accumulating bulk and getting more disorganized over the years. It was about time somebody did something about it.

To aid me in sorting the currency, I created piles like so:

My geography may be a little off but whatever. What I never realized was that there is so much about foreign currency to get annoyed about. For example, Syrian coins are covered in tiny Arabic words only - no English. So I had to squint and read the coin to confirm that it was from Syria instead of being able to just scan it for the English word, SYRIA. The Czech and Slovak monies are almost indistinguishable from each other, as are the Canadian and British money. I thought those last two were the same for a while - they both have a picture of Queen Elizabeth II on them along with a Latin inscription lauding her. It wasn't until I flipped them over that I noticed the difference.
British coin

Canadian coin

The Japanese money gave me the least trouble - many of the coins have holes in them or they're covered in large, obvious Japanese characters (or flowers!). Bless their hearts.

When I was almost done sorting into my neat little piles, I came across two Netherland coins that ruined everything. Where did they even come from? I've never been there, and if Jeremy has been there it certainly wasn't within the last 10 years.

So now my foreign coins are all in separate bags, neatly labeled. I'm not sure what I will do with them at this point. Obviously a few will come in handy very soon, but if anyone is planning a trip to Estonia, let me know. I've got some EEKs you can have. But the Euros are MINE. We fly through Frankfurt on our way to Alexandria and you better believe I'm going to find a way to spend them on Haribo candy and/or Milka/Kinder chocolate.


Jen said...

Excellent post, Bridget.

In my mind's eye, I saw your "change" map with an enlarged inset of the Middle East, if that makes sense.

The UK has ALSO aged the queen on their money. But the 'young queen' coins are still in circulation.

Have Miriam eat a kinder egg for Ian, k?

Fromagette said... some of those marshmallowy strawberry Haribo things for me. I used to eat those until they made me sick. I've never seen them in the states.

Katie said...

I've always known you were cooler than me, but this is totally proof.

Nancy said...

Haha, I was going to say that older Canadian coins have the young queen, but Jen already covered that. :)

Nancy said...

Also, we have a whole jar of money like that. You're not alone.

Liz Johnson said...

I could totally use that Chuck E Cheese coin. I think I might even have some Czech crowns to throw in to sweeten the deal.

Steven said...

We DO have the same laptop, but I have a black keyboard.

I love kinder and milka.

Susanne said...

My Syrian friend is studying in Germany ...not so far from Frankfurt. He recently sent me 23 chocolate bars for my birthday - many of them Milka. :)

Cute post!


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