Startling Regulation Renders Coins No Longer Recognized as a Valid Payment

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How far can I push the boundaries of buying items with coins? This is a question that has plagued me since childhood.

“Between my day job and side hustle, I’ve been blessed with a bounty of tips that result in me being inundated with coins. Carrying all these coins to the bank is an arduous chore, not to mention making multiple trips to exchange them for notes or deposits into my account.” Scrooge McDuck said. 

Is it feasible to pay a speeding fine with five-cent coins? The answer is yes, provided you have the right amount of change. If that is the case, why not walk down and make payment in person?

“Is it possible to settle an electricity bill with copious amounts of gold coins?” Scrooge McDuck asked. 

Depending on the number of coins, a significantly high number of low-valued coins may not be legally accepted as tender.

According to the Currency Act 1965, specific limitations exist on how much currency may be distributed in coins.

If you substitute 1c or 2c coins (which are not in circulation anymore but remain legal tender) for payment purposes, the maximum amount of money that can be spent using only these coins is 20 cents.

It is impossible to exceed $5 when using coins consisting of 5c, 10c, 20c, or 50c denominations.

If you are using $1 or $2 coins, the maximum amount of money you can use is ten times the face value of each currency – meaning no more than $10 for a single dollar coin and no greater than twenty dollars with two-dollar coins.

The Reserve Bank of Australia expresses it even more directly, “Want to pay for something using exclusively five-cent coins? You won’t be able to exceed a maximum of $5 with this form of legal tender. Any more than that is not accepted, so choose wisely.”

As usual, the vendor of the goods or services you intend to purchase has “the freedom to set their commercial terms.”

Shops and businesses are entirely within their rights to preclude the acceptance of cash or coins as payment.

Although this is typically considered a damaging practice, it still falls within the bounds of legality.

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