My list didn’t do me a lot of good, though, because most of the time I was inside the resort, and the fee for the workshop and lodgings included almost all the meals. Nevertheless, I did manage to get different denominations of bills and at least one of the special-issue coins, along with samples of three different portraits of the queen from different eras of coinage.
I couldn’t believe—I still can’t believe—how HUGE the 50-cent coins are! I didn’t think any country in the world had coins this bulky.
Here’s an Australian 50-cent coin next to a current Singapore 50-cent coin, a current US 25-cent coin, and one of the old Singapore 50-cent coins, which until now I thought seemed big!
The embroidered flag patch I bought in the airport was expensive, but looks to be of good quality. I resisted buying any plastic keychains shaped like kangaroos. The pens were free, courtesy of Greenleaf Press (the organizer of the retreat) and Montville Country Cabins (the workshop and retreat venue where we stayed).
You can spend any country’s Euros anywhere in the Eurozone, which means the coins spread around a bit. Still, in Spain, mostly you see Spanish Euro coins, and in Italy, mostly you see Italian ones, and so on.
Thus, if you were trying to collect all the different coins in circulation in the Eurozone countries, you’d have little hope of running across all the coins from the small Mediterranean island country of Malta, unless you or someone you knew actually went there.
My husband Aquinas brought back a set of eight Maltese Euro coins for each of us when he went to Malta for a conference this month.
Whenever I visit a foreign country, I try to collect one each of all the bills and coins in use; my husband also likes to have a set of his own, so I assembled one for him this time too. Nine different bills! Six polymer and three paper.
Since the coins aren’t worth much, I didn’t run across any in use. I did see some at a stall selling postcards, stamps, and other items of interest to tourists, but they were glued on to a dirty old cardboard “collector’s album” with some undoubtedly fake/replica ancient coins and some random, beat-up coins from other countries (including an American penny next to a label that said it was a nickel). No thanks.
As is my habit, I brought back coins and bills from my trip.
I’m now only missing one out of 100 state quarters collected from circulation since 1999 (one for each state and for each of the two mints, the one in Philadelphia and the one in Denver). It was always harder for me to collect Denver coins when I lived in the Southeast and the Northeast, but unsurprisingly, in Denver there were a lot of Denver coins.
I made a bunch of squashed pennies in tourist machines in various places.
I traded with my mom’s friend who we were staying with to get money from Uruguay, Brazil, and several other countries.