The Logic of Pasting Coins on Calculators & How It Has Evolved

Have you ever seen this before, especially in more traditional shops: you go up to the counter and you see either 5-cent or 1-dollar coins stuck at the top of their number-crunchers?

Do you know why it’s there?

Some of you would say it’s because of the gold colour of the coins while some would mention that it’s for decoration, or that it’s easier to find change (wait, what?).

You may not be entirely wrong but you’ll be surprised at the real reason why!

Apparently, it’s often seen done by Chinese hawker owners, superstitious business owners and even people at home.

According to some research online, it has been mentioned that many people prefer to stick coins on their cash registers or calculators as a sign for “more sales” or “more money to count”.

As the calculator and cash register is regularly used for counting money during their business, the money signifies good luck and endless inflow of money to boost the profits for the owner.

How it got started

Did you know that this “system” apparently started in the early days of Hong Kong, a city that loved business, prosperity and money?

In the olden days of the country, the business owners often place Chinese coins on their tables or cash registers as a sign to bring in more wealth when they did their accounts and counting of sales.

The olden Chinese coins have a square hole in the middle representing the earth and the outer circle shape of the coin signifies heaven. Together, the coin is said to be very auspicious and deemed valuable.

The power of 3, 6 and 9

You may have seen it before as, although rare, these coins can still be found today. Many people believed that by combining 3, 6 or 9 coins, tying them together with a red ribbon or string, it would increase the power of prosperity and bring the owner more wealth.

In modern day, Singaporeans have modified the way passed down by the olden times, into taping Singapore 5 cents or 1 dollar onto our calculators or cash registers.

And of course it’s because they’re gold in colour. Anything gold is goody.

How can you jump onto the bandwagon?

If you’re looking to get yourself some prosperous luck, here are some different ways you can do so apart from sticking them to your cash register or calculators: place the coins under the carpet of your home to signify walking on gold as prosperity.

Newly renovated homes are also a favourite place for new owners to place coins at the corners of the house to make sure money doesn’t “escape” and to anchor down their luck and wealth.

Hence, the next time you find random coins at different parts of your friend’s house, now you know why!

Even more modern practices

You might also see some businessmen taping coins to the back of their phones to “secure” any business that was discussed over the phone.

Some of you may also be wondering why some of your Chinese superstitious colleagues tape coins under their chairs in the office.

It’s because they believe that it represents more money coming in as they work. Now, you know why many people stick coins on to their cash registers, calculators and homes. It’s a tradition passed down for prosperity.

And honestly, who doesn’t like having more money?

Interesting much, no?



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Dawn is a marketing student and in-house writer in sunny Singapore. When she's not busy listening to her lecturers with a pen in hand, she can be found discovering new hacks, anything DIY or ways to make her life simpler.