Saturday, December 10, 2011

Save Your Pennies!

In Canada there is an ongoing debate about whether to eliminate the humble copper penny from circulation. Reasons are: Copper is expensive and costs more than a penny to produce, and therefore is debased with cheaper metals. Nobody wants to carry a pocketful of change because they don't know how to use needle and thread any more and they are tired of buying new jeans when the pockets develop holes. You can't buy anything with a penny - not even penny candies. They make a hell of a noise when scooped up by the vacuum cleaner. And on and on.
However, before the banks remove the pennies from circulation and sell the copper to manufacturers of copper wire and copper pipe and copper roofing for fancy hotels and office buildings for a very large profit, save a few for posterity. In fact, make sure the handful you save - [but just a handful mind you, because you want them to be rare] -  is passed down in perpetuity to your most favourite and responsible heirs. With the proviso that the collection must stay within the family forever - or until at least until the price is right - your family will be well off for centuries.

Why?
This - from Reuters a few days ago ~

Rare Greek coin could sell for $2.5 million at auction
 The Dekadrachm of Akragas, which was minted in Sicily and dates to 409-406 B.C., will be sold at auction on January 4 from a U.S. collection by the Classical Numismatic Group, an international firm that deals in ancient, medieval and British coins.
The price would make it one of the top-priced coins ever sold at auction, although collectors of extraordinarily rare coins have paid more than $5 million in the past.
Earlier this year a rare, gold Islamic coin, the Umayyad dinar which dates to 723 A.D. sold for $6 million at a London auction.
The Greek coin, one of only 12 examples known to exist and only the third to come to market in a generation, measures about 35.5 mm (1.4 inches) and weighs 43.4 grams (1.5 oz). It depicts four horses and a chariot on one side and an eagle on the other.
Six versions of the coin are in museum collections.
In its online catalogue CNG described the coin as "a masterpiece of late 5th century Greek art" and "one of the most beautiful of all Greek coins."
Bids will be accepted at a live sale in New York and online in real time for preregistered bidders via www.the-saleroom.com, CNG said.
*Sept 2013 Update: Pennies are now an official pain. Tried to pay for a pack of gum with a few rolls of pennies. No go, says the corner store owner. The banks won't take them as part of a cash deposit. Sigh.

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