(Note: As will become clear in this post I am perfectly aware that Australian ‘silver’ coins contain absolutely no silver, instead being made of a cupronickle alloy. I shall nonetheless refer to them as such, as is standard colloquial usage…)
Over the last week or so I’ve started on my yearly change clean out.This is where I gather up all the silver coins I’ve been hoarding, sort and count them and run them down to the bank. Yesterday I deposited $150 in fifty cent pieces, today I’ve sorted a further $100 in fifties and twenties, and there’s still at least another $100 in tens and fives to go.
“How do I accumulate so much change?” you may well ask. Well it comes down to one of my many strange habits, that of never actually spending any silver. Every morning before heading out into the world I grab a handful of notes I judge sufficient to cover any expenses I may run into, and throw in a few one and two dollar coins as backup (I do not carry a wallet, another of my strange habits). At the end of the day I empty my pockets of all cash, before repeating the process the following morning.
The quick witted reader will realise that this system will inevitably bring in silver coins while never taking them out, with the result that after a year or so I have several hundred dollars in silver change clogging up the place. So I put some time aside to gather it all together (it ends up in various places around the apartment), count, sort and deposit it, giving my bank account a nice jab in the arm in the process.
The down side of this system (apart from having piles of change all around the place, and the lost ‘opportunity cost’ of not earning interest on it all) is that I have to handle all the coins. And that triggers my own unique variation of nickle allery.
The standard symptom of nickle allergy is contact dermatitis – an itchy or even blistering rash where the metal has touched the skin. I don’t get this. I can handle nickle all day without my skin so much as turning even a slight shade of red. What I do get however is a burning sensation in my finger tips, a headache, and nausea, which means I have to limit my sorting to about ten minutes at a time, several hours apart.
Or I suppose I could use gloves. But then another one of my weird habits is a severe dislike of wearing gloves. You can see how doubly screwed I am here 😀
So I shall continue my coin sorting for the next few weeks, and end up a little the richer, and a little the sicker for it.