> What leads the “few” who “do” to drop spare change in the jar?
Until last year, our coins were HUGE and heavy. Wear holes in your pockets — our fifty cent piece was as big as your silver dollar. I think it probably stemmed from that.
> And what constitutes “change”?
Usually anything 50 cents and under — particularly 10 cent pieces (and 5 cent pieces when we had them — we have long since got rid of one cent and two cent pieces, and recently got rid of five cent pieces. Ten cents is our smallest coin, then twenty, then fifty, then a dollar, then two dollars...)
> Does NZ have 1 and 2 dollar coins like Canada?
Yes, they are made from a brass alloy and are thicker and heavier than our smaller change. We call them “gold coins” and they tend to be treated more like bills than coins, if that makes any sense. People don’t like breaking gold coins into smaller change.
The English don't seem (to me) to like paper at all, although the have it and use it. They seem more comfortable with a stack of pound or two-pound coins than the equivalent in notes ... if the amount is too much for that, they seem to me to prefer a credit card.
South Korea seemed very American in this sense ... 1000 Won note = 1USDollar note, etc. Except that they didn't seem to like credit cards as much as we do.