Saturday, July 30, 2011

Common Cents

A bright reflection caught my eye. Nothing all that noteworthy to see while you are at a gas station. But this was a bright orange shine, coming from the top of a trash can. It was emanating from three brand new pennies. It's rather funny how some people don't value their change, in particular pennies, to the point where they would rather toss them away. It is true that the relative value of coins are not what they were in years gone by.

I find it interesting that in early America (meaning the United States), coins were valued essentially by the metal that they were made out of. A slug made out of silver would have similar value to a same size minted coin. A coin from a foreign country would have its value based the same way.

U.S. coins are mostly now being minted from cheaper materials. Coins that were once made with ninety percent silver are now copper clad, only being silver in color. The penny is not excluded from similar changes. The copper metal in pennies minted just a few years ago is now worth more than the value the coin, so the newer U.S. pennies, like the ones that I found in the trash are copper clad and predominately zinc.

The trash can at the gas station was at capacity. No one could really use it any more without having some of the trash fall out and go unto the pavement, destined to work it's way onto the street. There could be many reasons for the pile up. I just get agitated some times when I see too much trash. Even by what the trash is. And those pennies were just copper colored icing on the cake.