What is this coin?
August 5, 2014 4:02 PM   Subscribe

Where is this coin from, and what is it?
posted by saeculorum to Work & Money (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

An Ethiopian birr.

We have a big Ethiopian and Somali population in PDX so I recognized the alphabet.
posted by fiercekitten at 4:06 PM on August 5

It's from Ethiopia
posted by littlesq at 4:07 PM on August 5

Resolved in three minutes. That's pretty impressive! Apparently the coin is worth about $0.025 at the moment, which is unfortunate because it came out of a vending machine instead of a US quarter.
posted by saeculorum at 4:10 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]

That probably means you can put it back into a vending machine instead of a quarter
posted by aubilenon at 4:15 PM on August 5 [5 favorites]

Unfortunately, the vending machine does not appear to accept the coin as valid - which is how I noticed I had it.

I will also take any answers with tips on tricking a vending machine into accepting non-American currency.
posted by saeculorum at 4:20 PM on August 5

Mildly offtopic: I often find that, with the right level of backspin/forespin I can get a machine to accept a coin it had previously rejected.

...because I hate being the one stuck with the bill, so to speak. Doesn't work with all machines, but if they took the coin once, trying a bit of spin as you put it in the slot is worth a try. I find backspin more successful, and it's easy to apply with your index finger.

FWIW. And, um, I naturally would only ever do this if the machine itself has given me a "bad" coin.
posted by aramaic at 4:32 PM on August 5

Actually that's a super cool coin. You should drill holes into it and use it as a button.
posted by aubilenon at 4:36 PM on August 5 [5 favorites]

I will also take any answers with tips on tricking a vending machine into accepting non-American currency.

Back when the NYC subway system used to take tokens, you could trick the machines with (iirc) Thai baht coins, I think it was their 25c pieces? They were the exact same weight and thickness.

this answer is useless unless you are a time traveler i guess
posted by elizardbits at 4:55 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]

The bar we go to accepted our 10,000 rial note in exchange for a beer, although it was worth only a little more than a US quarter, because they wanted to add it to their collection.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 5:04 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]

Here's a coin size chart, and I'll let you do a bit of sleuthing regarding which coins could be within the levels of tolerance to get accepted in US vending machines. If you're keen on tricking machines, you could always try the old coin on a string trick (warning #1: TV Tropes; warning #2: it probably won't work too often)
posted by filthy light thief at 5:38 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]

I feel obligated to check in, as the only mefite (disclosing a location) in Ethiopia. Too bad I didn't get here on time!

I mostly use those for <2.5km minibus commutes which are 1.5 Birr. Costs are very high here, given the wages and economic conditions (many things like produce, eggs, and milk are 2-3x the cost they are in India and Ethiopia is somewhat 'poorer').
posted by maya at 8:14 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]

That is one cool looking coin and it would definitely be worth more than 25 dollarcents to me. I would make it into jewelry or a keyring.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:13 AM on August 6

« Older I've got a TV that I can only ...   |  OK, Kids book. I was 5 in 1985... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments