Rheaz Baksh, floor supervisor at Transportation Department collection site, shows pounds of foreign coins taken from city parking meters.
The New York Daily News reports:
Parking cheats have shoved 500 pounds of foreign coins into meters this year - slugs city officials are now trying to hawk.
"We have pretty much every denomination from every continent," said Anthony Alfano, deputy chief of meter collections, rattling off nations from Greece to Ghana. "The most common [are] the Greek drachmas."
The death of the drachma - another hapless victim of the "new world order."
Department of Transportation officials have been collecting bids on the coins and plan to accept the best offer tomorrow.
"We are not expecting a windfall, but it's a way of recouping revenue for the city," Alfano said.
In years past, buyers have paid approximately $2 to $4 a pound - far short of the estimated $8,500 the city lost in revenue because of the foreign impostors, officials said.
The highest bidder must agree to buy all 500 pounds - 8-1/2 bags of coins that are being stored in a secret location for safety reasons.
DOT takes in about $90 million in coins from parking meters annually. It started selling the foreign coins about a decade ago after deciding it was impractical to exchange them to U.S. currency.
"In the scheme of things the money and volume of coins is pretty insignificant," Alfano said.
It's becoming harder to dupe the new high-tech meters with foreign coins, and the annual sale could become obsolete in the next few years. When the coins were sold in 2001, there were 1,402 pounds of foreign slugs - 33 bags. Last year, only 728 pounds were sold.
"The electronic meters are more discriminating," Alfano said.
Last year's batch went to Jim Corliss, a 60-year-old Braintree, Mass., collector who bids under his company name, Sir Speedy Printing. The three-time winner put in a bid again this year.
"Every once in a while I find something of value," he said. One time, he stumbled on a 1835 British shilling. "It sounds exciting, but it was worth $5," he said.
He confessed to collecting "zillions" of coins since he started the hobby as a 12-year-old paperboy sorting through tips. "I have a big house," he said.