My wallet is constantly full of coins - it’s heavy; it’s constantly heavy. They’re not coins that I receive since coins are legal tender and I regularly use them for their intended purpose. They’re coins the husband receives and refuses to spend. His life philosophy is clearly ‘notes only’ – just paper, no copper, no nickel. Shopkeepers, who deal all day long with this element of our society are usually therefore grateful when the rest of us pay with coins (unless it’s a piggy bank exchange). Yet when I pull a pile of coins from my wallet - because someone in our household has to have the courage to spend them - I get a look of horror from the husband. The humiliation is almost too much for him to bear especially if there are multiple coins involved and particularly when I empty the entire contents for counting to alleviate my burden. In fact, the more coins I have to count and the closer I get to a perfect score ie paying the entire amount with coins, the more rewarding the experience especially given that I have also lightened my load.
Why is this so? Apparently coins are “a hassle” – because they have to be counted and counting is obviously not something you want to do in public. But coins are not so bad. Shell money was a whole lot more inconvenient, harder to carry although easier to come by and probably easier to count for those with this phobia.
The most abundant shell money – the money cowry from sea snails was traded as a whole or in pieces or flakes. In northern Australia, different shells were used by different tribes with one tribe's shell often considered worthless to another tribe which is not much different to the current foreign currency market. An egg in Zimbabwe might cost you $50 billion Zimbabwean dollars. And you can trade 175 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars for about $5 Australian. Luckily it doesn’t involve counting coins.
Coins are also a whole lot easier than the live clams used in Fred Flinstone’s Bedrock.
The best currency of all though, is the Brownie Point which is not exchangeable for anything tangible but can be applied to benefit any situation with almost limitless possibilities. And better still, they don’t need to be counted, just remembered.