… and the pounds will look after themselves. At least that’s what your mother probably told you.
According to Gregory Wood of California State University, Channel Islands, two out of three US pennies (1 cent coins) get lost and are never seen again by the banks.
The same applies to Euro cents where just under half (45%) disappear.
People carry 14 coins on them on average and he thinks most of the ones we lose get dumped in household garbage. American households have 45% more solid waste than European ones which he thinks accounts for the difference.
It’s hard to find the figure for the UK but the Royal Mint says there were 28 billion coins in circulation in March 2008 and that they had issued nearly 380 million 1 penny coins in 2005. At the time they were redesigning the coin in 2007 they said that 6 billion penny coins had been lost without trace.
There are lots of suggestions about why we lose so many: we don’t value them any more, people take them abroad and leave them, or put them in jars for a rainy day, but there are still a lot unaccounted for. So remember what your mother told you!