13 February 2014


It's Throwback Thursday, when we look back at something old which may bring a smile to our faces.  At least that's what I think it is.

I don't remember when I started it, but I have a decent coins collection.  I don't travel that much but when after a visit to a country, whether for business or on vacation, I would save a few of the coins.  Sometimes even the bills.  Also, since I live in New York City, people from all over the world somehow cross my path, or more exactly, their coins got dropped and I found them.  Sometimes I think the foreign coins were mistakenly used, or maybe even intentionally used, such as the case when the coin has lower value compared to the U.S. currency.  I have a few coins that look like the dime, both in shape and color.

I also save coins related to public transportation, mostly subways and metro trains.  Last but not least, I collect coins from arcade or similar businesses.  Without much further ado, check out part of my coins collection below!

Mostly tokens for the New York City subway system (NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority), but there are tokens for Boston, Chicago, and Dade Country, which I cannot recall of what city or state.  After a few design changes, the NYC MTA tokens of course got replaced by the MetroCard.  Likewise, the Roosevelt Island Tram used to have its own tokens.  Last but not least, check out the slug in the upper left!  It has a magnetic center just like the NYC MTA token, same round shape, same diameter, but probably cost much less to produce.  It was successfully used and found its way into a token ten-pack that I paid for.  I could have gotten a replacement but decided to keep it as a souvenir.
Here I have coins from Fun Time USA, Six Flag Great Adventure, Chuck E Cheese, Museum of Moving Image, Crayola Museum, Strasburg Railroad Museum, as well as those pennies that got squeezed through some machine.

I once visited Chennai, India (aka Madras, India) on business.  It was an interesting trip, diarrhea and all. 

I separate the coins into their own containers.  One container has U.S. coins, another British coins, then French, Mexican, Hong Kong, etc, but here I have a collection of coins from all over.  The Philippines, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Italy, Israel, Australia, Jamaica, Japan, The Netherlands, even some tokens for bridges and tunnels within New York City.  I am pretty sure the majority of these coins were found on the street or mistakenly used as U.S. dimes and nickels.

I visited Hong Kong twice.  I love the coins with the wavy edges.

Whenever I think about coins, I recall clearly the one time I saw a Vietnamese dong disassembled.  It was some time after the Communist takeover in 1975, the government didn't have enough money to make quality coins.  Someone showed me how a Viet coin, after some time underwater, had its tin foil layer removed to reveal a cardboard core.  Or some material equally inferior.  The demonstration simply stayed with me all these years.

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