Add is quite a few younger India is moving towards electronic payments and no longer carry small change in pockets, whatever they get is thrown away in a jar at home. So the amount of coins in peoples home has increased substantially.
Yes - The amount in jars in the UK must be vast
There is also a absence of coin sorters / changers in malls/banks for individuals to periodically put the old coins and get notes.
As far as I can tell, change machines in the UK charge 8.9% - but (disgracefully) that does not seem to be clearly marked on them. I do not think many people use them though – perhaps just an instinctive (and in this case correct) distrust
Your point on inflation is a valid one I had not thought of. But there is another matter that seems a possible to me.
Around 1880 huge numbers of French 10 centime pieces were imported into the UK from France. There was a shortage of copper pennies - especially used to pay London Hackney carriage fares apparently. Questions were raised in parliament and a reform was promised. But if you look at the mintage figures, the amount of small change did not much increase. Pennies volumes were increased at the expense of halfpennies and farthings. So it appears to me there was some unmentioned limiting factor in play.
My guess attaches to the fact that a well known UK retailer – Marks and Spencer – is very proud of the fact it started life on Leeds Market as an “anything for a penny” stall around 1880. A retail phenomenon not unlike the rise of Woolworths in the 1930’s (by then anything for 6d) and the rise of pound shops today.
But if there was a big rise in 1d stalls on markets around 1880, this may well have been associated with an increase in tax avoidance, and the authorities might possibly have back peddled on small change as a blunt weapon against such tax avoidance.
VAT collection was very aggressive in the UK in the 1970’s, and contributed to the near collapse of the small independent shop keeper in most sectors – the sort of person who traditionally would find it easy to use cash to avoid tax. High streets here are now dominated by chains, and tax avoidance is arranged by lawyers and has little to do with operations close to the till. But the India I recall still had an awful lot of small retail enterprises………