April 15, 2008

Classy Currency
Miami Beach, United States

Now I'm not one for coins—I dislike them greatly, in fact—but can't deny how progressively unattractive U.S. currency is becoming. I absolutely cringe at the sight (of the back) of the new $5 bills in circulation.

Above, the new face of British currency, announced by the Royal Mint. The striking new designs, selected from an open competition that attracted four thousand entries, are the work of a 26-year old graphic designer named Matthew Dent. They are Mr. Dent's first foray into currency design.

Below, the new five dollar bill, introduced last month by the United States Department of the Treasury. The new design, which features a big purple Helvetica five, is the work of a 147-year-old government agency called the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It employs 2,500 people, and has an annual budget of $525,000,000.

Comments:

The United States

Bob L

April 16th, 2008

Are you sure the winner wasn't Dent, Arthur Dent?

Old US currency = practical, solid, stable, but easily counterfeited.

New US currency = Ugly, unstable, goofy. It took a Clinton to move all the dead presidents to the left. And Lincoln looks like he is in a pink fog.

New British Currency = pretty, but third world. I consider a currency third world if commonly used coins are used where paper should be used. For decimal systems, coins never equal 1.0 or more and paper should never equal less than 1.0. For the british system, no coin should be 1 pound or more, and no paper should be less than 1 pound.

Biased? Sure. I always am. I hate coins. With my obviously superior system ^_^ you would never have to have more than $1.00 in coins (or 1 pound) in your pocket. (OK, by my definition, Canada would be third world. But they can change. If they have to. I guess.)

And when looking at coins, coins are best if the smallest is worth the least. If they have to, they can go with two different obvious materials. The British 20 Pence is smaller than the ten pence. OK, that makes US coins suck too. Dimes are smaller than both the 5 cent piece and a penny, but hey, we can change too. Personally, I like the old Canadian 5 cent piece the best. It has enough nickel in it to be magnetic. Non Ferrous Magnetic materials are cool.

Can you tell I'm an engineer?

The United States

Craig | travelvice.com

April 17th, 2008

Spot-on comment, Bob. Personally, I love coinless currencies… strange how I can't seem to dig up a list of countries that don't use coins. I'll have to add that to the Compendium.

Canada

Jen/YVR

April 18th, 2008

While I can definitely see the benefits to a currency system where no coin equals more than 1.0, there still is something pretty cool about emptying the change from your pocket at the end of the day and realizing you have…..holy crap - $16! It happens more often than you would think when you've got $2 coins….

Canada

Dave

April 29th, 2008

The fact is, in Canada, $1.00 and $2.00 aren't large amounts of money worthy of bills. They're pocket change. I absolutely hate having loads of $1 bills in my pocket when travelling in the USA.

Canada is supposedly getting rid of the penny soon, so that's a bit of a compromise I guess.

From what I remember, Cambodia does not use coins at all.

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