Currency is a method used to pay for goods and services in the country or region where these good and services are provided. Its denominations are very specific and exact. Often, the customer cannot pay the vendor an exact amount so the vendor is required to return the difference to the customer to complete the transaction. This action is commonly referred to as making “change”.
Money is highly recognisable to its users. Larger denominations are made of universally sized paper and plastic sheets referred to as “bills”. Smaller denominations are metal pieces with a circular shape in a variety of sizes known as “coins”. The different sizes typically indicate value so they can easily be detected and assessed by their users. Many nations have ‘coins’ very similar in colour and shape, but with the value of these coins being so small, most users cannot be bothered to examine these pieces closely to confirm authenticity.
A common coin in Canada is known as a “quarter” which has a value of 25 cents. (1/4 of a dollar) To put this into perspective, my daily coffee costs about eight quarters and an ass-kicking rock CD would cost Lebrain about 80 of these things.
One afternoon, after having a morning coffee with one of my girlfriends, we decided to visit the “Golden Arches” for a quick and unhealthy lunch. The order came out to $11.25, and for once I had EXACT change (woot!!!). I reached into my purse and pulled out my ten dollar bill, my one dollar coin (known in Canada as a ‘Loonie’) and what I thought was a “quarter”.
The cashier and her supervisor examined the coin closely and gave it back to me.
McD: “What is this?”
Me: “A quarter.”
McD: (In a rude, shaming tone) “No it isn’t and we can’t accept it from you”
I took the coin back and gave the cashier a fifty dollar bill (making her provide me with a lot of change to complete the transaction. It turns out the “quarter” was a Swiss Franc with an exchange value of $1.27 CAD.
Their loss, my gain. I just hope they didn’t spit in my fries.