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Collecting Coins Makes Cents

Pennies, Forints, Sheqels, Farthing, Yen, Cntimos, Kurias, Bani, Leu, Koruna, Peso, Centavos. Many coins, with many names from many countries. I've traveled extensively in the Middle East and Central America and have had the opportunity to see and become familiar with the monetary systems in several countries. For the most part, there aren't many similarities except that they all have bills and coins representing various denominations.
When you start comparing the rates of exchange between the various countries it can become very confusing. In the U.S. we have coins in several denominations and they are pretty easy to keep track of (well for us at least). However, some countries break it down further than 1/100th of the lowest denomination bill. While we have pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, as the most popular coins, some countries have coins that would equate to one half and even one quarter pennies. During my 12 or so years traveling back and forth to the Middle East at the end of a normal day, I would have a pocket full of coins. Usually I would just throw them in a drawer and leave them for the next occupant of the hotel room or for the housekeeping staff. Of course at home I put the change in a jar and forget about it (my wife doesn't).
In comparing the Iraqi dinar to the U.S. dollar, 9 cents equals 100 Iraqi Dinar. Therefore, if you visited Iraq and converted 100 U.S. Dollars to Iraqi Dinars you would be carrying 117,500 Dinars. Fortunately, Iraq has 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 notes that are used as frequently as our one dollar bill. The same is true of their coins, which many Iraqis do not even bother with as they have extremely limited value. On the other hand, the Republic of Panama uses U.S. paper money, but has their own coins. The coins however are the same size, weight and value as our own (and work very well in vending machines). Maybe that's because they are minted in the United States.
Although I guess you could call what I do "collecting", most people give that word an entirely different meaning. People collect different coins for different reasons, the coin enthusiasts are basically after the same types of coins, those that are rare and therefore valuable. Many collectors simply concentrate on coins from their own countries. The more valuable coins, as you can imagine, are those that have been discontinued or have minting defects. Many of these were minted for a very short time and in extremely limited quantities which adds to their value. Other collectors look for coins from many nations but limit their selections to gold or silver. has information for everyone no matter the level of your experience or passion for coins. So take a look and you'll find articles, ads, sales and auctions for everything dealing with coins. Come back often to get the newest updates and be sure to subscribe to my blog to get periodic information on a wide range of subjects.

About Author Tom Stabler :

Tom Stabler is a retired Air Force veteran,
with a wide range of interests. Because his
interests are varied, he wants to provide
information to the masses using his site at
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Article Added on Wednesday, July 15, 2009
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