Goodbye Hellers

At the end of this month, the Czech National Bank will pull the 10 and 20 heller coins out of circulation, citing the high cost of keeping the coins of miniscule value around.

A heller, for quick background, is 1/100th of a Czech crown. One crown today is worth 3.69 cents at current exchange rates, so a 10 heller coin had a value of about 0.36 cents.

Of course, this doesn’t stop merchants from giving prices in hellers, so a cola would cost 19 crowns, 90 hellers. And there are more than enough customers and clerks who insist on getting all those hellers.

Barney Greinke once thought of an excellent promotion for Prognosis back in the day: Win Your Weight In Hellers. He figured that the average person would weigh something like 4,000 Kč in hellers, which if you think about it, isn’t such a bad deal for all the publicity you’d get for it. The excellent thing in Barney’s plan was that he’d have models shoveling hellers onto a scale, and then with all the cameras rolling, he’d hand the lucky winner several trash bags full of coins.

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