Home Forums Living Spaces Sentimental Clutter What to do with foreign coins?

This topic contains 26 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of whattotrash whattotrash 3 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #158803
    Avatar of kllycat
    kllycat
    Member

    Hi All,

    I briefly touched upon this question in the ATAD thread without asking for answers, but as I still haven’t figured out what to do, I figured it’s time to ask for help!

    I traveled around Europe for three months in 2000 on a sort of ‘Gap year/ Junior year abroad’ thing (I’m American). I ended up with a few handfuls of foreign currency, most of which isn’t used anymore, as the majority of countries now use the euro. I was keeping the coins in a dish, along with some rocks and shells picked up along the way, but I’ve cleaned out the dish (thus the ATAD post) and don’t want to keep the coins anymore. (As a side note, I’ve also cleaned out a lot of other clutter from that trip– even though I thought I was so good about not collecting stuff at the time!)

    For the moment they’re in a bag, in a (recently cleaned out drawer), and not overwhelming in size or quantity but I know they’re there and it’s bugging me.

    Any ideas on what to do? I thought about saving them for my next trip abroad and then tossing them into one of those donation bins in the airport, but that will be in about 3 months. Is there a market for this kind of thing on ebay?

    Kelly

  • #171390
    Avatar of maryann
    maryann
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    I keep all my foreign coins in a glass jar on my kitchen shelf. Along with assorted wierd coins that I come across, like old bridge & subway tokens, peep show tokens, slugs, old wheat pennies & silver dimes.

    It doesn’t take up much space. And I have to say that I have always loved looking through this collection. Now that I have kids it’s even more fun for them…

  • #171392
    Avatar of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    I took mine to my kid’s daycare when they were doing a unit on currency.

    Before that, i got rid of most of the jar by offering it to friends/coworkers who were on their way to various countries – it’s nice to land with some pocket change and a gift of 3-5 pounds or marks (or 500-800 yen) is not large, especially if I couldn’t spend it anyway.

  • #171393
    Avatar of Rozzie
    Rozzie
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    If you know any teachers, they might appreciate them for classroom use. I’m thinking history and geography teachers, especially. Grade school teachers might be able to use them, too, since they do have history/geography/cultural units.

    Or post them on Craigslist as a giveaway…

  • #171398
    Avatar of charmed2482
    charmed2482
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    if you have a photo album from your trip you could put them in there with the pictures. Or make some art out of them if you like to do that kind of stuff.

  • #171399
    Avatar of kllycat
    kllycat
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    Teachers are a great idea! Now that Europe has moved onto the Euro, there are few differences in country currencies any more, so the older coins may be interesting for history lessons.

    I did look on ebay, and there are a lot of people who do sell what look to be handfuls of coins for low amounts. I may look into that as well.

    Thanks for the ideas everyone!
    Kelly

  • #171421
    Avatar of Periwinkle
    Periwinkle
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    Depending on whether or not they’re current coins, you might be able to give them to charity. At the charity shop where I volunteer, we collect foreign coins and send them off to head office, who cash them in.

  • #171428
    Avatar of Rozzie
    Rozzie
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    Another option would be to drop any that are current into a ziploc bag and tuck it into the outside pocket of your suitcase. Any leftover current coins would be there ready for your next trip. For most Americans, this will be most useful for British currency, Euros, Pesos, and Canadian money. If you have currency from places you will probably never visit again then it may be a less useful idea.

    I have all of our foreign coins in a pretty wooden bowl w/ lid. I bought this bowl on a vacation so it works out nicely.

  • #171434
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    our bank collects foreign coins for charity, but it’s a UK bank so they might not do this elsewhere.

  • #171444
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    one of our airlines (jetstar) accepts all currencies small change and puts it into a starkids thing they run in alliance with world vision.
    they accept donations on the plane (an envelope in the seat pocket) or online. perhaps you could post it to them?
    if you posted it to me, i’d make sure they physically got it…..i am always on a jetstar flight sooner or later.

    http://www.worldvision.com.au/ourwork/solutions/JetstarStarkids.aspx

  • #171480
    Avatar of recycler
    recycler
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    I try to get rid of all excess coins when I leave the foreign country (drop them in the donation box at the airport). Even though I may be going back sometime, I usually will forget to bring the coins (now even the Euros). If it’s old coins of a currency no longer in use, or of little value, I guess I would just throw them in the metal recycling bin…

  • #171491
    Avatar of jbeany
    jbeany
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    Drill holes and make a bracelet? Reuse, renew….

  • #171493
    Avatar of BBChapman
    BBChapman
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    Slightly off topic: you can make great bookmarks by laminating foreign paper currency.

  • #171496
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    I keep Canadian currency as we go at least once a year. Any others I give to kids, and along jbeany’s suggetion, I have one I esp like on my keychain.

  • #171500
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    BBChapman, I LOVE that idea! Now that some of our neighbouring countries are going to the Euro, I have interesting bills I didn’t know what to do with.

    Also digging the idea of a charm bracelet with the coins, but wouldn’t have the faintest clue about how to drill the holes. I consider myself handy if I can get a coffee cup from the cupboard without dropping it.

  • #171502
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    What to do with foreign coins?

    I have a small misc. collection of foreign coins that’s just sitting in a jar. Fun to look at once in a while but of no real utility.

    Also: I have a pair of earrings made out of 1 peseta coins. I couldn’t make them myself, but they are neat. So… maybe look into local artisans who use them to make similar things?

  • #171504
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    If you don’t have a LOT of coins, having a piece of jewelry made might be the perfect solution. Bigger coins can be set into prefabricated bezels (www.firemountaingems.com), smaller ones can be drilled with a titanium or diamond bit (plz clamp to work surface first!), the really thin ones that almost feel like plastic can be punched with a manual drill press (also at FMG).

    I’ve used foreign stamps on decorated matboard for a collage, currency would work for that as well – as for example if you have a particularly evocative photograph from a trip and want to mount it, use the currency or stamps as part of the framing treatment.

  • #171622
    Avatar of kllycat
    kllycat
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    I love the bookmpark idea! Or you could turn paper currency into a collage…

    I’ve separated out all the ‘real’ money, ie UK & US that I will use on one of our trips coming up soon. The UK totals up to more than £6- the US to a little less than a dollar, how’s that for currency value rates?

    Everything else is ‘expired’, ie no longer in circulation. As it’s only a small plastic bag’s worth, I may just hang onto it until I get to an international donation bin, or maybe a museum like the British museum- I’m sure they have the resources for dealing with it!

  • #171717
    Avatar of Julia
    Julia
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    One of our family “heirlooms” is a simple frame with a fabric backround, holding an assortment of foreign currency my uncle collected. When he died, another uncle arranged them in the frame in a simple display. If you have small flat collectibles from your trips – postcards, receipts, miniature flags, whatever – they could go in as well.

    Wish I could tell you how he mounted the coins; whether he glued them or pressed them into a foam background I really can’t say.

  • #171895

    What to do with foreign coins?

    I have a bunch of foreign coins and some currency (with extremely low value, not enough to actually trade it in for US$) from European countries before the switch to the Euro. I had put it in a scrapbook, but I’m thinking I may just take those pages out and take them to the Goodwill. Maybe someone will want them for things mentioned previously here (teaching, for their own scrapbook, ???). Any thoughts on this? Is this stuff really just junk? I don’t want to take stuff to the Goodwill that they will then just have to throw away.

  • #171902
    Avatar of Honore
    Honore
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    Thank you, chacha1, for the link for coin bezels to be used in jewelry making. :) I’ve searched for that exact (to mount an old silver dollar) thing online to no avail.

  • #171932
    Avatar of Nithy
    Nithy
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    If you know someone crafty, see if they’d be interested in the coins. We love to get carried away with a tube of superglue and a pile of pretty things.

  • #171992

    What to do with foreign coins?

    Be aware that even if it is no longer in circulation, some countries still see their old currency as legal tender and it may be an offence to deface it / render it unusable. Ok, so it’s hardly likely that they’d care if you don’t go back there or that they’d take you to task if you did – just saying.

    You may find a currency exchange place that still accepts older currency for exchange (I’m talking Marks not Reichmarks for example) for new which you can then give to someone going to that country.

  • #172015
    Avatar of MsMichOnline
    MsMichOnline
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    I don’t like to say this on the “unclutterer” site, but I am a teacher and would be very interested in your coins for the reasons stated. I would be more than happy to work something out if you are still looking to get rid of the coins, but I don’t want to post any personal information. Sorry about the random approach, but this seems like a great learning opportunity. Thanks!

  • #172024
    Avatar of Spelunk
    Spelunk
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    Another idea I saw on a blog recently (I can’t remember which one :P) was to make magnets of the coins.

  • #172031
    Avatar of kllycat
    kllycat
    Member

    What to do with foreign coins?

    @MsMichOnline

    I’d be happy to send them to you if you paid shipping (I can’t imagine it being more than $5 or so. You can email me at kellyrigotti at gmail and we can hammer out the details (vaguely coin related pun) there.

    Kelly

  • #172240
    Avatar of whattotrash
    whattotrash
    Member

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