Why Do Some Coins Have Ridges?

Why Do Some Coins Have Ridges? Putting ridges on some coins in America got
its start back in the 1700’s. At this time, coins were actually made of
materials that were worth what the coin was worth. For example, a half dollar silver coin contained
fifty cents worth of silver. Likewise, a $10 gold coin contained $10 worth
of gold. As a consequence of this, people started to
shave off bits of these coins around the edges; so now a $10 gold piece only contained, say,
$9.50 worth of gold. The payoff came from that if they were very
careful when they shaved the coins, it was very difficult to tell that anything had been
shaved off, so they could still generally get their $10 worth out of the now $9.50 piece. Over time, they’d collect the shavings and
when they had a large enough amount, go sell them. Eventually, the government decided to do something
about this and one of the methods to combat this practice was to add ridges to these coins;
something known as “Reeding” the coins. With the ridges on the edges, it became significantly
more difficult to shave anything off the coins without detection. They chose not to do so with smaller valued
coins that came out later, pennies and nickels, because the metals these coins were made of
weren’t valuable enough for shaving them to be worth the effort. So that was then, why do they still do it
today when the coins are no longer made of valuable metals? Initially, supposedly it was because it was
easier and cheaper than modifying the existing machinery. Today however, it is to help the visually
impaired to more easily distinguish between coins of a somewhat similar size like a penny
and a dime. This is something unfortunately not done with
today’s American paper money, which is indistinguishable to blind people without resorting to tricks
like folding them certain ways for different bills, Braille money stampers, or much more
recently special apps which will identify the bills for them. Excepting via an app, the blind still need
someone to tell them what the bill is in the first place when they receive it, so they
can do whatever they do to it to be able to distinguish it later on their own. Although, supposedly the government is working
on this problem with one of the most popular suggested solutions being to adopt the new
Canadian system of imprinting the bills with Braille.

100 thoughts on “Why Do Some Coins Have Ridges?

  1. Suggestion: Please stop wearing glasses with shiny frames.. its reflecting the green screen and your head looks like it's been carved into. Example 1:19

  2. Australia's finally started making notes that the blind can easily distinguish, starting with the new $5 one that has a really nice design all around. Will take a while to change over completely but it's a really good start.

  3. here in the UK, our bank notes get larger the higher their value. I used to use a money counter at work that worked by weighing the money. it would read error if you set it to count 20s but a 5 got mixed in there somehow.
    I've often wondered why US bills are all the same size, and how your money counters worked.

  4. Why haven't anyone sued the U.S government yet for discriminating against blind people? You would think braille on a Dollar bill in this day and age would have already been done.

  5. I sort of get why they don't change the size of the dollar bill – even the original computer punch cards were the size of the dollar note because there were existing trays or cartridges to store and handle them. It would be expensive to make all this obsolete or more complicated. Think of cash registers, ticket automats etc. But it amazes me how the US to this day don't have something simple like braille on their notes. Other countries, like Germany or Switzerland, have this since the 80s or 90s.

  6. The new Australian $5 note has a tactile feature for the blind:
    They are also very pretty for those that are not blind.

  7. I don't think the isea to mark the edges is an american 18th C. inevtion. I think I have seen plenty of coins from europe from the 17th and 18th C. which even has script along the edges

  8. Completely ignoring the fact that milling (not reeding!) was invented by Isaac Newton, one hundred years before the US became a thing.

  9. Or America could do what the rest of the world does because it works better and make different notes different colours and sizes, spell colour correctly and adopt the metric system.

  10. Braille is a useless idea on paper money. Within Months of the note being in circulation, the Braille will be flattened useless from the all the wear and tear. Even on Plastic notes, thr Braille barely lasts longer than a year. The best way is still to have different values have slightly different dimensions. Eg $100 bill is just that much bigger than $50 so you can feel the difference almost immediately.

  11. Why does the US have an aversion to colourful money? It's easy to tell apart at first glance and, you know, looks nice. While we're at it, our not so new plastic bills actually turned out pretty great too!

  12. I have just found this channel. If I had known it was yummy Simon's channel I would have subscribed sooner. Actually I wouldn't because I've just found it, as I explained earlier… Yes, this post is pointless

  13. Funny how just as he mentioned blind people not being able to distinguish American paper currency I asked "Yeah… why has that not been acknowledged yet they force us to make every building accessible at our own cost" then he mentioned its a work in progress. I still feel it should already have been in place at least for the past 5 years by now.

  14. in India each currency note over 10 has marking so that it can be identified by the visually impaired, this is in practice for quite some time

  15. Nice vid, i had no idea that the dollar has harkings too. In europe each bill is a differen size and each coin has specific markings. Also for blind ppl etc.

  16. Alternatively they could adopt the British system of just making the bills different sizes, brail can fade, but sizes don't

  17. Not so sure about how effective braille is on paper money, after it's been going from wallet to wallet and the braille has been flattened away. The Euro does it better, I think. Along with the ridged coins, every bill is a different size, so it's easy to distinguish for a blind person.

  18. Also the Japanese yen has absolutely no features for the visually impaired on banknotes, so the USA is not the only behind the curve. Not really an excuse, however.

  19. I wonder if you could get a scanner to scan the metal strip antenna thing that vending machines use to identify money. I wonder how pricey such a thing would be.

  20. The US still don't have distinguishable part in the paper money for blind people, wow this country is really fucked up in all sorts of ways.

  21. One of the most important reasons for the ridges today is to be able to tell similarly sized coins apart when seen edge-on in a wallet. The euro coins are very good that way: 1cent – no ridge, 2cent – line along the edge, 10 cents many ridges, 20 cents some ridges, 50 cents many ridges (but much larger than 10 cents). 1 and 2 euros coins are similar but the color is different.

  22. Two corrections:
    1. Reeding wasn't an American development. It was used on British coins almost a century before the US adopted the practice.
    2. The US 1¢ coin ("penny") was introduced in 1793, before higher-denomination coins came out, rather than after.

  23. NO ONE is going to say anything about the click bait (non us coins on the thumbnail and the misleading title to go along with it)?

  24. Bangladesh and many other countries have figured out the solution to the problem of blind people not being able to tell the difference between bills of different values: We mint it in different sizes. Suppose BDT 10 bill is concivably larger than BDT 5 bill. BDT 50 bill is way bigger than BDT 10 bill and so on.

  25. I find it disgusting and sad, really, that the US government or the central bank haven't introduced any measures to help the blind distinguish between different banknote denominations.

  26. I was gonna comment "Hey they should have an app for that" but decided to keep that to my self while I Google it. And of course, someone beat me to it!

  27. hello I'm Simon whistlaah, you're watching the today I found out youchube channel ANDINTHEVIDGIOTODAYWERELOOKIN at why some coinz

  28. make the money out of slightly different materials, just enough to tell the difference. easiest and most cost effective way. BAM

  29. I have known at least 2 blind people who could sort US notes accurately unassisted UNLESS the note was brand new and perfectly crisp.

  30. It would be awesome for bills to have braille, maybe then your bills won't stick together as much when you get them out of the ATM

  31. Video suggestion…
    When a boxer throws a punch, does exhaling or snorting quickly during the punch truly provide any extra power??

  32. There's a app now that can tell a blind person what bill it is . There's a little device they can buy to you scan the corner and it's say the number but just out baile on them like we do in Canada ffs lol im not blind but I use the bumps sometimes when pulling cash out of my pocket near ppl I don't want to know say I have hundreds I just fell for the bumps and Pulll the 20 or 10 they are easy to learn

  33. Now that you know why some coins have ridges check out this video and find out the answer to the question- What Happened to Howard Hughes’ Money After He Died?:

  34. In Canada our bills are also different bright colours, which helps people who are just visually impaired, but not blind.
    Also our money is waterproof and supposedly smells like maple syrup.

    America, get your act together. Seriously, what are you doing?

    (Australia, You’re doing great. Keep it up.)

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