Editor's ChoiceCategories Credit Type Issuers Blog

Money Myths, Madness, and Mayhem – The 85th Edition of the Carnival of Money Stories

11/18/2008

Welcome to the Carnival of Money Stories! I am thrilled to be able to host this edition of the carnival. I hope you enjoy all of the submissions as much as I did.

This issue of the carnival contains some wacky and wild money stories brought to you Myth Busters style. Some are true, some are false, all are a little crazy! If you’re new here, please subscribe to my RSS Feed and then sit back, and enjoy the stories!

Wealth in Your Pocket?

Myth: In April of 2006 a wealthy businessman named Scott Travers decided to honor national coin week by placing three rare coins into circulation. The coins have never been “found”.

Status:

Scott Travers did unleash three rare coins into circulation – and it wasn’t the first time he’s done it either. It turns out that Scott, who is the author of The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual and the ex-vice president of the American Numismatic (The study and collection of coins) Association was hoping that if he put the rare coins into circulation and then publicized it, it would spark a renewed interest in coin collecting among the American public.

The three coins he released were all pennies:

1909-S.V.D.B. Lincoln Cent – worth approximately $1,600
1914-D Lincoln Cent – worth approximately $479
1908-S Indian Head Cent – worth approximately $200

No one has ever claimed to have found these coins, or several of the other coins Scott released either. Check your pockets!




Drugs in our Money?

Myth: The majority of the paper money in the United States is contaminated with cocaine.

Status:

The majority of the bills in the united states are contaminated with cocaine – In very, very microscopic amounts. In a 1997 study scientists found that as many as 4 out of every 5 bills contained minute traces of cocaine.

How does this happen? Since cocaine is a fine powder, it is easily spread in small quantities. Tiny amounts of cocaine dust transfer from a contaminated bill to every other bill it comes in contact with. Since most money is in constant circulation, it is regularly coming into contact with other bills which have been exposed, and so on – via ATM’s, cash drawers, etc.

The results of the study did say that the amount of cocaine actually on our cash is so minuscule that it will never show up in our bodies – Especially since most of us are handling cash less and less, and using debit and credit cards more often. So unless you’re at home rolling around in your cash like Scrooge McDuck, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. One more reason to wash your hands though!

Want to know more? Check it out on Snopes.




Your Money’s No Good Here?

Myth: There is a law that says merchants don’t have to accept more than 100 pennies from you when you pay for an item.

Status:

Pennies are considered legal tender in any amount. So if you want to haul your change jar in to pay for your groceries it may be inconvenient (and the cashier certainly will not thank you for it!) but it is legal.

With the advent of services like CoinStar, and the ability to change money at our banks, it is thankfully less common to see people paying for things with large amounts of loose change. It might be something to keep in mind though, the next time a merchant upsets you! You can always crack open that piggy bank and tie up about an hour of their time. 🙂



Penny Wise and Pound Foolish?

Myth: It costs more to mint a penny than its worth.

Status:

Most years it does cost more to mint a penny than it’s worth. This is due to the rising cost of the base metals that penny is made from. Pennies are made from 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.

In 2007 the the approximate cost to mint a penny was 1.7 ¢ Our government justifies the difference in manufacturing costs and value because pennies are used for years before they drop out of circulation – so they feel they are “getting their money’s worth.”



Bad Mojo?

Myth: Two Dollar Bills Are Unlucky

Status:

While it’s impossible to say whether or not two dollar bills really are unlucky, they have certainly been considered “bad money” throughout history – and for a variety of reasons.

The United States first began printing $2 bills in 1862, and they are still being printed today. Yet hardly anyone uses them, and there are even people who believe that they aren’t “real” money. So what happened? How did $2 bills become the red-headed step children of the economy? Well, it’s a lot of myth and legend really.

In the 1930’s a single session with a prostitute cost $2. So anyone who had, or carried $2 bills was thought to either be a prostitute, about about to consort with one.

The standard amount of bets placed on horses used to be $2, so anyone with a wad of $2 bills, was certainly “up to no good”. You know, between the gambling and the prostitution.

And the third mythological reason why two dollar bills are unlucky is because they are often called “Duces” which is a slang term for the devil.

Even though none of these reasons really have anything to do with fact, and much more with assumptions, it’s easy to see why people would shy away from carrying them in large quantities. Those are the historical “reasons”, and even though they don’t give way to logic, it was enough to doom the $2 bill into relative obscurity.


That’s it for the 85th Carnival of Money Stories. Thank you so much for all of your submissions. I enjoyed reading each of the articles, and visiting your blogs. Come back and see us soon!

Best,
Mr. CC

RELATED POSTS
8 Comments
November 18, 2008 @ 7:27 pm

I didn’t even think about cocaine being on my money! I’m always more concerned about germs.

Thanks for hosting and including my post!

Reply
November 18, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

If you want the low-down on finding valuable coins in pocket change, you don’t have to win the “pocket change lottery” and one find one of Scott Travers’ donations; there are plenty of overlooked valuable coins in everyday circulation.

Top 10 Most Valuable Coins in Circulation
http://coins.about.com/od/uscoins/tp/errorvarieties.htm

Travers’ latest book (Coin Collector’s Survival Manual, 6th Ed.) is awesome, though. If you spend more than $100 a year on coins of any type, his book will probably save you big money with its insider’s view of the coin dealing business and how to make sure you’re not getting ripped off. Definitely my #1 pick for a coin collecting book.

I love your coverage, Mr. Card. =) Keep up the good work!

Reply
November 18, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

Hey there!

Thanks for including me in this carnival. Lots of great articles! Great work!
-HIB

Reply
The Shark Investor
November 18, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

Thanks for the mention and hosting the carnival!

Reply
November 19, 2008 @ 1:00 am

Very cool carnival! I love the theme…now you’ve got me thinking…we have a two dollar coin in Canada that we call the “Loonie”… 🙂

Thanks for including my most about why I will always cook at home.

Sincerely,
Amanda

Reply
November 19, 2008 @ 2:45 am

Great carnival, thanks for inclusion! Enjoy those options sales, market’s ripe for it these days with volatility being what it is!

Reply
November 21, 2008 @ 2:08 pm

OMG this one was awesome!!! Esp that “releasing of the rare pennies” one – you better believe i’ll be keeping a better eye out now 😉 thx for hosting!

Reply
kat
November 21, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

I used to work at a horse racing track, and we got $2 bills all the time. I don’t know about gamblers in general, but horse bettors definitely consider $2 bills to be lucky.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*


Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions About Me Disclosure Contact Me

Newsletter Sign Up

Name

Email