Foreign Currency

Working in a retail customer service job and exposed to many international customers, I’ve noticed something about world coin currency that I find interesting.

Have you ever noticed that here in the USA our coins depict their worth with English words and not numbers?

Here in the USA, we require foreigners to memorize what a “penny”, “nickle”, “dime”, and “quarter” is worth (of course here in the US we know exactly what they are worth!).

Compare that to many foreign coin designations especially the Euro…

As I’ve traveled overseas (and I’ve been to most continents), it hasn’t been much of a problem making change for a typical cash transaction because I recognize the number on each coin and I do the math.

Conversely, I’ve noticed many foreign visitors here in the US hand me a fist-full of US coins with the statement “I don’t know what this is worth…is it enough?”

I finally realized our coins either state what they are (“nickle”) or how much each is worth in English (“five cents”). Whereas most other places they place the value of the coin not by it’s local vernacular, but by it’s numerical value! It’s a NUMBER that we all recognize!

I think it explains why I have little trouble making change at a local Global vendor while traveling compared to my International counterparts here in the US using USA coins trying to make change for a typical transaction.

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