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Found money report

(If you’re interested in previous years’ annual reports, see 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.)

Today was the day I emptied out the found-money tin onto the table and did the counting for the previous year. As I get older I get less reticent about my odd pleasures and I have to admit I sort of look forward to sitting down with a pile of change; it reminds me of emptying out the piggy bank in my first decade and figuring out how much was really in there.

Last year may have been up; this year was down on almost every front.

  • Total value: $25.77, not including the two pennies damaged beyond usability and the one so battered it could only be recognized as a penny by circumference.
  • Three $1 bills was a nice change; we’d been a few years without finding folding money.
  • 32 dimes, just a bit more than half last year’s number
  • 84 dimes, down but not by such a large degree
  • 42 nickels, actually more than last year
  • 427 pennies (again, not counting the lost souls mentioned above), down by about 10%.
  • 0.03€ (in three euro-pennies), fivepence, and 1 grosz (which is 0.01 Polish złoty, and was the only loose change I found in Qatar. The fivepence, and one of the dimes, turned up in Heathrow.) Canadian currency was either not present or not noticed during the counting.

I didn’t subclassify the coins because my method isn’t patient enough, which means I don’t have a count of, for example, wheat pennies. I did have a buffalo nickel in pretty tough shape, however. (Research suggests its value at approximately $0.07, so I just rolled it up with the other nickels.)

The obvious reason for the decline this year is tied to the reason last year was such a good year. From November 2008 to August 2009, I worked in an office in downtown Amherst and walked back and forth to work. I also ran on many more residential streets. Since we moved to New York in August, my daily walking has dropped dramatically, and the streets on which I run are much less likely to bear loose change. (For whatever reason, there are a lot more coins on the ground where people park their cars.)

Every so often, when I get to run with the group in Amherst again, I spot a coin and ask why the town isn’t ankle-deep in loose change without me around to pick it up.

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