Want Drachmas? DOT’s Got ‘Em

Written by Kari Milchman on . Posted in Posts.

The city is selling 500 pounds of foreign coins
that lucky swindlers successfully jammed into parking meters this year.
Deputy chief of meter collections says the mix is pretty diverse, with
nearly every denomination from every continent represented, though the
most common are Greek drachmas (pictured). Perhaps more inexplicable is
who would buy them. Last year’s highest bidder was collector Jim Corliss,
60, of Braintree, Mass., who explains that he finds something valuable
from to time—like an 1835 British shilling worth $5. Don’t spend it all
in one place, Jim.

Apparently, the city loses an estimated $8,500 annually
due to foreign coins masquerading as U.S. currency in parking meters.
And The Department of Transportation decided to sell the coins about 10
years ago because it wasn’t worth exchanging them for U.S. currency. In
the past, the coins have earned the department between $2 and $4 per
pound. The agency, which rakes in about $90 million from parking meters
annually, has already received this year’s bids and will announce the
best offer on Monday. We wait with bated breath.