While Jersey might be (in)famous for its pound notes, it’s not too often that the Island’s coins cause confusion. But for one Blackpool woman, an Island 50p piece was at the heart of a transport predicament.
It started as a normal day for 54-year-old Denise Wilkie: grab some money from her husband's change jar, hop on the bus, and make her way to work.
Recently, however, she saw her usual routine come to an abrupt halt after handing the bus driver a 50p coin. He immediately gave it back and asked her to leave the bus – all because it was from Jersey.
In a story reported in the Blackpool Gazette, Mrs Wilkie commented: "It was not a good situation at all and I felt very embarrassed."
While the situation might not appear to ‘make cents’, it all comes down to the difference between ‘legal currency’ and ‘legal tender’.
Pictured: Mrs Wilkie's home, Blackpool in the UK.
Island coinage is indeed ‘legal currency’ - meaning its permitted for daily transactions in the UK if accepted by the person or business - but doesn’t fit the bill for ‘legal tender’, which is money that can be accepted in payment of a debt.
And it’s not just Jersey affected by this: Guernsey and the Isle of Man also fall under the ruling.
Most places do choose to accept Jersey coins, however, given their identical size, shape and weight to their UK counterparts.
But mum-of-six Mrs Wilkie had no such luck. For her, the bus driver’s decision was just ‘not fare’.
Pictured: UK coins, which are both legal currency and tender.
“I thought it was just a normal 50p. I understand it is at the discretion of the business when they accept it or not, which I think is ridiculous. I think they should have accepted it.
“We don’t even know where the 50p came from. It must have been given to us in change. We definitely haven’t gone to Jersey!”
Luckily, the coin commotion didn’t leave Mrs Wilkie without a lift for too long, as she was able to catch a ride with her husband.
A Blackpool Transport spokesman said: “We appreciate it can be awkward for some people but as it’s not legal tender we do not accept Jersey 50p coins.”
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